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CID takes charge of con couple probe

Calcutta, May 12: The Criminal Investigation Department today took over the inquiry of the case involving the couple arrested for impersonating as “close relatives” of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee in North Dinajpur.

Additional director-general of police, CID, Ranjit Mohanty asked special superintendent of the agency, Ramphal Pawar, to go to Siliguri and North Dinajpur for the investigations.

Police have registered two cases in Siliguri and Raigunj against Buli and Sanjay Duttagupta for cheating, fraud and impersonation.

“Pawar has been instructed to go through the police investigation conducted so far in details. He will speak to the district magistrate of North Dinajpur, Aariz Aftab, and superintendent of police Arun Sharma about the fiasco and fix responsibility,’’ Mohanty said.

The CID’s deputy superintendent in Siliguri, D. Chakraborty, was in Malda and North Dinajpur today and sent a preliminary report on the incident to the sleuths’ city headquarters in the evening.

The Duttaguptas posed as the “niece and (her) husband” of the chief minister’s wife, to take the district administration for a ride on May 8 and 9.

CID sources said preliminary investigations revealed that Buli and Sanjay had earlier conned the treasurer of the CPM’s Siliguri unit of Rs 57,000 and a case had been registered against them.

“They had even taken Rs 2,000 from deputy central intelligence officer Benugopal Ghosh, who had acted as a conduit between the couple and the North Dinajpur administration,’’ said a senior CID officer who studied the initial probe report.

The CID grilled Buli and Sanjay for seven hours in Raigunj today. Following up on leads provided during interrogation, a joint team of the CID and district police raided three places, said to be houses of relatives of the couple.

The police said the CID would study the log books in their control room and in the district magistrate’s secretariat in Raigunj to find out who had ordered for the car to be at the couple’s disposal and booked the rooms at forest bungalows and guest houses. A senior CID officer today spoke to Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB) officers in Calcutta to find out Ghosh’s background and his activities in Siliguri and Raigunj.

CID officers said there were several anomalies in the statements made by Buli and Sanjay during interrogation. “Initially, they claimed to have known Ghosh from before but when grilled further to elaborate on the relationship, they did a volte face and denied to have ever met him,’’ a senior CID officer said.

They also failed to answer why they picked on Ghosh if they did not know him as it would have been easier for them to contact district police authorities. Moreover, CID officers said Ghosh’s number was not listed in the telephone directory as the duo had earlier claimed.

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