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Murder accused had political backing

A day after his arrest on charges of five murders and involvement in several extortion cases, Tapas Das, alias Bulton, confessed on Wednesday during interrogation that he enjoyed the patronage from some members of the ruling CPM and immunity from police as a reward for his services during electioneering.

Hundreds of CPM activists assembled and raised slogans demanding his release when Bulton was produced in Barasat court. He has been remanded in police custody till July 30.

Anxious CPM members lined the road leading to the court and inquired after his health while Bulton was being brought in amid tight security. Police had a tough time controlling the mob. However, deployment of RAF and reinforcements prevented any untoward incident.

Police submitted a chargesheet against Bulton in six cases, including five murders.

Minutes after he was remanded in police custody, superintendent of police Basudeb Bag said the accused had “contacts with bigwigs in the CPM’s North 24 Parganas district unit... Bulton confessed that he had the backing of a section of CPM leaders to perpetrate crime in Maslandapur, Basirhat, Bongaon and some parts of Habra, in North 24 Parganas,” Bag added.

The drive against Bulton and other local criminals like Palash and Pinaki, who had assembled at Yuva Bharati Krirangan just before the 2001 Assembly elections, was undertaken at chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s instance, Bag disclosed. “I am not bothered if some leaders are hurt by Bulton’s arrest.I am carrying out the chief minister’s orders,” he added.

According to officials, Bulton started off as a petty criminal five years ago. He was notorious for eliminating opponents of the ruling party. “The accused was involved in at least five lynchings that took place in the locality over the past three years,” they confirmed.

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