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Idris arrested, Sultan nervous

Calcutta, Nov. 24: The detective department today arrested Idris Ali, the All India Minority Forum president who led Wednesday’s road blockades that snowballed into street riots.

An embarrassed Congress, whose minority cell Idris once headed, expelled him, having served him with a suspension notice just a day earlier.

The police have so far not acted against the other political face of the rampage, Trinamul Congress general secretary Sultan Ahmed, who had publicly said his “boys” were among the rioters.

Ahmed himself feared he might be arrested in a day or two. “My name has also appeared in newspapers… so I, too, fear arrest,” he said tonight.

Police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborti merely said: “Investigation is on. So we cannot reveal who are going to be arrested.”

Idris was returning home from an undisclosed place when the police stopped his car on Ripon Street, where he lives, around 6pm. He was bundled into a police car and whisked away to Lalbazar.

“He has been booked under several non-bailable charges, including rioting, causing hurt with dangerous weapons and damage to public and private property. He has been taken to the Lalbazar central lock-up and will be produced in court tomorrow,” Chakrabarti said.

Officials said a medical test had been carried out on Idris.

The lawyer’s sister Husnara Begum, daughters Rupa and Ruma, and son Imran came to Lalbazar to meet him.

“Some people are saying he was in hiding but that’s not true. He was living at home as usual,” Idris’s brother-in-law Firoz Ali said. The Telegraph had spoken to Idris at his home landline number last night.

The police also arrested three Karaya toughs — Mohammed Salauddin, Mohammed Imtiaz and Mohammed Amir — in connection with Wednesday’s mayhem.

A Sealdah court magistrate, however, granted interim bail to 54 people arrested by Beniapukur and Topsia police on the charges of blocking roads, rioting, looting and damaging private and public vehicles.

The state government did not oppose their bail prayers after it was discovered that these men had been arrested before the rampage broke out in earnest.

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