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Supari out for coal-belt MLA
- Plot to kill Arup Chatterjee unearthed

Dhanbad, July 17: Arrested Bihar gangster Sanjay Singh today revealed that he had been hired to kill Marxist Coordination Committee (MCC) legislator from Nirsa Arup Chatterjee.

Singh, an accused in the much publicised Hotel Black Rock murder case, was taken by the Dhanbad police on remand in connection with the extortion threat calls that have been issued to more than two dozen businessmen and industrialists of the coal belt over the past few months.

The gangster, who operates under several aliases like Pappu Singh, Sanjay Sah and Rajesh Mishra, stunned the Dhanbad police officials this evening with his disclosure while being interrogated by superintendent of police Murari Lal Meena.

The police had taken him on remand along with another gangster Duryodhan Singh from the Dhanbad divisional jail where they were lodged in connection with the murder of Hotel Black Rock’s manager Satinath Rai last year.

The gangster said the detractors of Arup’s father Gurudas Chatterjee — the flamboyant MCC legislator from Nirsa who was murdered near Govindpur in 1998— had given out the supari to kill the MLA. He divulged the name of Shiv Shankar Singh, an accused in the Gurudas Chatterjee murder case, saying he had had hired him for the job.

“But he (Sanjay Singh) said he could not murder Arup Chatterjee as the legislator had a strong security cover around him. He, however, admitted that he had made an attempt to kill the legislator. The job was difficult because of the heavy security cover and he did not want to take any chances,” said a police official.

The gangster’s disclosures are an indication of the deep inroads the organised criminal gangs of north Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh have made in controlling and managing underworld activities in the industrial belts of Bokaro and Dhanbad. The gangster also reportedly told the police that he had planned to execute the legislator with a sophisticated weapon like the AK-47.

The police are trying to find out the amount of money Singh was paid to eliminate the legislator. “We are trying to get more details about other people conniving with Shiv Shankar Singh to get Arup Chatterjee killed and details about other accomplices of the gangsters,” police sources said.

The gangster taken on remand also disclosed that he was working for a powerful criminal-turned-legislator from Bihar and that he often received weapons and shelter from the VIP.

Singh said that in order to establish their own monopoly and afford day-to-day requirements like money, weapons, vehicles and other luxuries, he and his accomplices had taken to extorting businessmen and industrialists of Dhanbad and its adjoining areas.

Singh is learnt to have made some other sensational revelations to the police, but the officials were tight-lipped saying they would first confirm the information and then take action against the other gangsters and their contact persons.

The police are also trying to find out who supplies sophisticated weapons to the gangs operating in Dhanbad. In most daylight murders executed by the professional criminal gangs in the coal belt, sophisticated weapons like AK-47s, sten guns and mausers were used.

Gurudas Chatterjee, a veteran trade union leader, founded the Marxist Coordination Committee and launched a crusade against the coal mafia and mobilised the mine workers. He was killed allegedly at the behest of the coal mafia dons, who found him an irritant as he mobilising worker support. His son was elected to the Assembly from Nirsa on a sympathy wave in a bypoll.

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