The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Trader rescued in midnight mission

Chinsurah, April 20: In an operation early this morning, Hooghly police rescued a kidnapped trader from a house at Kapasdanga here.

Superintendent of police Ajay Kumar said following up on a tip-off that Sukumar Das was brought here and confined to a room, four armed policemen stormed the house around 4 am.

Das was kidnapped yesterday afternoon from Bongaon in North 24-Parganas on his way to Calcutta. A kidnap case was registered at Bongaon police station.

“We picked up leads on Das around 3 am and senior officers, including officer-in-charge Subir Roy and Ashis Sinha, put their heads together to plan the operation. They decided to zero in on the house and move in immediately,’’ Kumar added.

Two officers, Annudhuti Majumdar and Nirmal Choudhury, pushed open the tin door and barged inside, brandishing revolvers. Even in the pitched darkness of the room, the policemen realised there were people inside. “Put on the lights, or we will shoot,’’ Majumdar screamed at them, his finger firmly on the trigger. They woke up in a dazzle and switched on the lights. The policemen demanded to know where they had kept Das.

“He was sitting crouched in a corner, badly bruised and bleeding,’’ Choudhury said.

Deputy inspector-general, Burdwan range, K. Harirajan said the kidnap kingpin, Biswanath Ghosh of Habra, and his eight associates were arrested. Gautam Rudra, the owner of the house where the kidnappers took shelter, managed to escape. The police took his brothers, Netai and Bappa, into custody. Several rounds of ammunition and arms were recovered.

Investigations revealed Ghosh ran a smuggling and fake currency racket along the Indo-Bangla border. “They had picked on Das after he prevented them from extorting money from his tenant in Bongaon,’’ Kumar said.

Das was waylaid by Ghosh’s gang in front of Bongaon station and pulled into a Tata Sumo. They called up his wife and demanded Rs 2 lakh by Sunday morning. “Or else, he would be killed,” said a chilling voice.

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