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Cop caught in con bid

Burdwan, May 25: Days after a youth took police here for a ride by impersonating as the son of the private secretary of the Maharashtra deputy chief minister, a police constable nearly pulled off a similar trick.

Jagannath Dasgupta of Golabari police station in Howrah feigned to be a senior finance department employee with close ties with deputy inspector-general, headquarters, Narayan Ghosh and a host of senior politicians in his bid to swindle Rs 25,000.

The policeman was caught in the act, but not before he nearly convinced his colleagues here that he was “Ashis Chatterjee, a senior official from Writers’ Buildings. Dasgupta alias Chatterjee claimed Ghosh had sent him to collect the money as subscription for a body-building championship.

The constable was on leave when he contacted deputy superintendent of police, enforcement, Satyanarayan Guha last week and identified himself as a finance official “close” to Moloy Roy, a senior officer in chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s secretariat. He also claimed to be a senior official of the West Bengal Body-Builders’ Association.

“The government is organising a statewide body-building competition and Moloy Roy and Narayan Ghosh will be the chief guests. You must help us raise a minimum Rs 25,000,” Dasgupta told the police here.

He also handed over forms to the deputy superintendent for collecting subscriptions from corporates. Guha reportedly asked him to come back after seven days and collect the subscription. After Dasgupta left, Guha, who knew Ghosh well, called him. Ghosh said he did not know of any Ashis Chatterjee.

Senior officers here were alerted. Guha sent his officers to look for “Chatterjee”. But they drew a blank.

Last Saturday, an unsuspecting Dasgupta reached Guha’s residence to collect the money. “He was asked to go to the office where the money was kept.” He was was taken into custody as he walked into the enforcement office. The constable’s identity card was found on him. During interrogation, Dasgupta confessed.

We are investigating further,” said additional superintendent (Howrah) Rahul Srivastava.

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