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No one knows Tiger inside ‘his den’

Sept. 5: Residents of Dharampur in Asansol’s Hirapur today said they had never heard of Tiger Singh, the man who killed a patient at Suri hospital apparently to avenge his father’s death and said he belonged there.

Tiger shot dead Sadananda Mondal, whom police described as a coal mafia, after a 12-hour hostage drama. On surrendering, he had told police that he wanted to take revenge on his father’s killers. He had also said that he came from Dharampur.

Inspector-general Gautam Chakraborty, who had negotiated with Tiger during the hostage drama, said there is doubt about his identity.

Dharampur, on the fringes of Asansol, is mostly populated by labourers of the Indian Iron and Steel Company (IISCO) in nearby Burnpur.

Narayan Singh, 19, an unemployed youth, saw Tiger’s photograph published in The Telegraph for a while today and said he had not seen the man before. Manish Anand, who has been coming to the Asansol suburb from Burnpur for the past seven years to tutor children, said he had never seen or heard of Tiger.

In congested lower Dharampur, Pintu Sheikh who runs a hardware shop claimed that he knew “all the criminals” in the area. “If Tiger was an antisocial or some one with a criminal record, I would have definitely recognised him. All kinds of people come to my shop and I visit all the localities of Dharampur,” said Sheikh.

The Hirapur police questioned residents, including IISCO labourers like Shiv Shankar Yadav and Mohammad Nasiruddin. None of them has ever come across “any Tiger”. “I was born and brought up here,” said Nasiruddin, 40.

The police said Tiger has confessed that he is Tiger Mohammad. If it is true, several cases of murder, abduction and coal smuggling could be on against him.

Sources who preferred anonymity said Tiger is actually Angur Khan, whose father, Mohammad Khan, migrated to Khairasol in Birbhum from Bikrampur in Jharkhand in the early 1990s. Mohammad became part of the coal mafia and was killed in 1996. Very recently, Tiger had come to know that Sadanada, an Easter Coalfields Limited employee, had killed his father, said the sources.

The police said they have come to know that Tiger is from Khairasol. An officer added that his father was killed when Tiger was a child. “They were two brothers and were dragged into coal smuggling by their grandfather,” said an official.

The police are sure that Tiger shot Sadananda as a sequel to a feud between two groups of coal mafia. “If Tiger did not kill Sadananda, it would have been the other way round. Tiger did not have a definite address. He stayed in Asansol, Suri or Rampurhat,” said a police officer.

From his hospital bed in Burdwan, Tiger, swathed in bandages, admitted to having been involved in coal trade. “Sadananda and Haradhan Roy were our rivals. Because of them we suffered a lot. Sadananda was angry with me as I began to control some of his business pockets,” he said.

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