The Indo-Bangladeshi border hardly made a difference on his map of misdemeanours. Sitting in a hamlet in Khulna, 28-year-old Habibur Rehman would run a rob-and-run gang in Calcutta. Till Monday night, when his trail of crime caught up with him.
Officials of Entally police station picked up the Bangladesh-based mastermind from Sealdah station while he was on the run after attempting a robbery at a motor-parts shop on DC Dey Road. A bhojali was seized from him.
Anuj Sharma, deputy commissioner of police, eastern suburban division, said Rehman and three associates stormed the shop of Shyamal Banerjee, who showed “exemplary courage” by “pinning down one of the goons”. Rehman and his associates fled the shop, but not before stealing Banerjee's cellphone. The shop-owner then lodged a complaint with Entally police station.
On receiving the complaint, a posse of policemen, led by P. K. Saha, reached Sealdah station and started scanning the compartments of suburban trains. "The shop-owner accompanied us to identify the miscreants. After the Main section, we moved to the South section and boarded a Canning-bound suburban train,” said an officer. Rehman, who was sitting in one corner of the first coach, was easily identified by Banerjee.
“On interrogating Rehman, we learnt the names of his associates,” said Shantanu Majumdar, investigating officer of the case. Police came to know that Rehman had crossed the border a few days ago. “He had formed a gang here a few months ago and came into the city frequently to commit crimes and then slip back into Bangladesh. It was difficult to arrest him because of his modus operandi," said an officer of Entally thana.
The dacoity wing of the detective department was alerted immediately after Rehman’s arrest. The sleuths, too, grilled the gangster and came to know that his associates might have taken refuge in a hideout at Canning, in South 24-Parganas.
“Officers of Entally police station and our sleuths left for Canning around 2.30 am on Tuesday. A number of places were raided, but they yielded nothing. We are interrogating Rehman to ascertain whether there are other Bangladeshi criminals in his gang,” said Soumen Mitra, deputy commissioner (I), detective department.