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A stamp of felony
- Second postal scam in three days nets duo

In yet another postal stamps scam in three days, the sub-postmaster of Hide Road Extension post office, in the Taratala area, was arrested on Friday. A youth — said to be a tout — was also rounded up on the charge of assisting him.

Investigations revealed that the duo was duping people, as well as the postal department, by reselling used stamps. “Apparently, the sub-postmaster and his assistant have duped the postal department of several lakhs. We have found a document that shows the duo issued used stamps worth Rs 20,000 in the recent past,” said an official of Taratala police station.

The similar incident took place at Sanai post office, in Kidderpore, on Wednesday. The postmaster of the office and two other persons were arrested on charges of selling forged and used postal stamps.

Shankar Mitra, officer-in-charge (OC) of Taratala police station, said the local police and senior officials of the postal department carried out Friday’s raid jointly. The postal officials came to the local police with specific information. The police later picked up sub-postmaster Md Shahidul Islam from his Paharpur Road residence. Tout Dinesh Singh was netted from his house on MG Road.

Police said Singh would write letters and fill up money order forms for the local people. “Most residents of the locality are illiterate and poor labourers. They send money to their ancestral homes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Singh took this advantage of their ignorance and duped them,” added OC Mitra.

Interrogation revealed that Singh would charge full price but paste used stamps on the envelopes. “Islam would use his official seal on the stamps,” added an official of Taratala police station probing the case.

Police said Islam had masterminded the scam. “We are interrogating him. Other staff of the post office are also under the scanner,” added OC Mitra.

Power bills: The state government on Friday reiterated its decision not to pay the electricity bills of its municipalities, in spite of demands by the Opposition parties. Municipal affairs minister Asok Bhattacharya said that if all other municipalities could meet their power bills, then so could Calcutta and Howrah Municipal Corporations. Both civic bodies have already been given enough scope of raising money through property and water tax, he pointed out.

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