The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fun dries up for fake doctor

His businessman father is a frequent flier to Delhi and Mumbai. His mother is bedridden in their Jadavpur home. His father requires his help but he wants fun. For that, he needs oodles of cash to splurge on his girlfriends, nightclubs and his car.

So, Subhasis Mitra, 28, opted for an easy way out: masquerading as a doctor, he conned shop-owners.

Luck ran out on Thursday after Mitra, pretending to be a doctor, persuaded an upmarket dealer to part with two expensive cellular phones. Officer-in-charge of Lake police station Satyajit Banerjee said Mitra introduced himself as a doctor to the receptionist of a private hospital on Rashbehari Avenue on Thursday afternoon. “Mitra said some of the hospital physicians were his friends and that he would like to sit in the room reserved for doctors,’’ Banerjee said.

He asked the receptionist to direct his visitors to the doctor’s lounge. Before he stepped in, Mitra had visited a cellphone dealer opposite the hospital and introduced himself as a doctor.

“He selected two of the most expensive handsets and asked the dealer to bring them to the doctor’s lounge,’’ Banerjee said. Shop-owner Shankarlal Gupta followed Mitra to the hospital, where the receptionist directed Gupta to the doctors’ lounge. There, he spotted Mitra in conversation with a doctor.

Gupta showed the two mobile handsets to Mitra, who told Gupta he would choose one and make the payment in the shop after attending to his patients.

A little later, Mitra slipped out through a hospital sidedoor. After waiting for more than couple of hours, Gupta realised he had been cheated. The hospital authorities told him there was no doctor by that name there. Gupta lodged a complaint with Lake police station. A police team went to the hospital and questioned doctors and the receptionist.

“We contacted several cellphone dealers in the hope that he would try to sell them the handsets,’’ said an officer of Lake police station. On Friday, a youth told the police that a man was trying to sell two handsets to a dealer in a Kidderpore market. Police discovered they were the ones stolen from the Rashbehari Avenue dealer. The cops also found out that Mitra had cheated a Jadavpur shop-owner, too, of two expensive TV sets. “He broke down during interrogation. He seemed like a frustrated and depressed youth,’’ officer-in-charge Banerjee added. Mitra was arrested.

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