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‘Overdose’ death spurs raid
- Three in net and scouting for more

Siliguri, April 16: The body of a 19-year-old was dumped in front of a Kali temple at Tumolpara here this morning by members of a drug peddling racket after he died of a suspected overdose.

Three persons have been arrested in this connection.

The incident sparked tension in the area with more than 200 residents of Adarshanagar, Gwalapatti and Tumolpara ransacking the house of Tamanna and Khairunnesa, a couple known to be the kingpins of a drug peddling network in Siliguri.

The residents also barged into the houses of other suspected members of the gang. Police raids in these houses later in the day yielded a large variety of stolen goods and 300 gm of heroin, a source said.

Around daybreak, a few residents of Tumolpara saw three youths dumping an “unconscious person”, later identified as Badal Sarkar, a known drug addict, in front of the temple.

“They rushed to the spot and found Badal dead. They chased the youths and could catch Zakir Mohammad who, after being beaten up, said Badal was addicted to heroin,” said Parimal Mitra, councillor of Ward 4, under which the area falls.

Officials from Siliguri police station reached the spot 15 minutes after the incident took place around 5 am. While the body was sent to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital for post-mortem, Zakir was arrested. Khairunnesa, who had fled the spot, was traced and nabbed later on. Another member of the gang, Husnwara Begum, was picked up from the Adarshanagar area in the evening.

Confirming the arrests, Indra Chakrobarty, the deputy superintendent of police, Siliguri, said: “We have registered an unnatural death case. Investigation is on to ascertain the cause of death.”

“Badal had tried to come out of his addiction over the last one year, but failed,” said Chandan Sarkar, his rickshawpuller father. “He would often sell off household goods for money to buy drugs.”

Residents of the area, however, suspect that Badal was murdered by Tamanna’s gang. Though Tamanna was arrested four months ago and is still in jail, they believe that his wife Khairunnesa was running the racket. “She leads every illegal activity in this area, be it drug peddling or theft,” alleged Kajal Chanda, a Congress leader of the area.

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