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Daddy Cool of a Calcutta where crime is a way of life

Metro infiltrates the bylanes of Beckbagan to know more about some of the names that have cropped up in the Rizwanur Rahman case. To protect our sources — yes, they fear for their lives — we will not name them. But they have all been close associates of the men we are about to unmask.

Abdul Majid shot into limelight in the Rizwanur case when the CBI came calling on October 22. He led the sleuths to Imtiaz and then to Imtiaz’s brother Hasan Ali.

Known to everyone in Calcutta’s underworld — from Tollygunge to Patipukur — as “Daddy” or “Uncle”, Majid has always been Mr Cool, trusted by CPM politicians, local policemen and criminals.

Once a talented footballer, the resident of Bright Street is a popular figure for his “straightforward dealings” — even if the dealings once meant arms smuggling and now revolve around illegal construction or being the middle man for criminals and cops.

“Majid, who does not drink or smoke, is never ruffled. He lives with his wife, rides his scooter and chats with the para boys. He is unlettered and blunt,” says an associate.

The crime trail of the man with a limp, now in his early 40s, can be traced back to the start of the Nineties, when he got involved in the most lucrative business of the times — smuggling of branded arms.

He formed a formidable triangle with Nata Eliyas (the don of Darga Road) and Hidayat Khan (known as the 10th don of Jamshedpur). “With an army of smugglers and wagon-breakers, they flooded the Calcutta market with branded guns to be distributed all over eastern India,” recounts Majid’s associate.

The unholy trinity was shattered after Nata Eliyas was convicted for murder. Majid then started working in a leather unit on Darga Road and shifted his focus from smuggling to the construction boom in the Park Circus belt.

“The job is just a front. From 6pm to midnight, Majid and his friends gather on the terrace of a Shamsul Huda Road building that belongs to Midnapuria Anwar. They play cards throughout the evening and strike business deals. This is where Majid meets people,” says an associate.

Majid cashed in on his proximity with both the police and criminals by playing mediator in dubious deals. This apart, he would play a part in almost every contentious construction in the area.

Majid’s associates (Naata Eliyas apart), says a former confidant, range from the dreaded Chunna-Munna of Rajabazar to Kallu and Vinod of Tollygunge to Deepak and Hatkata Dilip of Dum Dum-Patipukur — where Rizwanur’s body was found on the tracks on September 21.

But the biggest name linked to Majid is Hasan’s. The Palm Avenue-based promoter — who was approached by the Todis to break up Priyanka and Rizwanur’s marriage — “trusts” Majid and often “turns to him” to sort things out.

It was no different on September 2, when Majid was sent to meet Rizwanur’s uncle Jalisur Rahman — Majid and Jalisur have known each other for years, being in the same para — and urge him to persuade Priyanka to return to her parents.

Though Majid hardly ever visits Hasan’s Palm Avenue address, he is always a call away for Hasanbhai.

“Majid was bindaas till the CBI probe began. But everything has changed after October 22. He has been keeping a low profile, spending a lot of time with Hasan and is even refusing to speak to some of his closest associates. For the first time in two decades, Majid knows he is in trouble,” says an associate.

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