Calcutta, Aug. 29: Raj K. Modi, the managing director of Vedic Realty, was arrested close to midnight on Saturday, the highest-profile action so far in the episode bristling with political implications.
Police said Modi, in his late forties, had been taken into custody for harbouring criminals and being part of the illegal activities of Gaffar Mollah, an alleged land shark wanted in the murder of a teenager that triggered last Sundays arson attack on Vedic Village.
Gaffar, who is absconding, is considered the key figure in the controversy that involves allegations of forcible land acquisition and political patronage, the trail of which could lead to prominent figures in the Trinamul Congress as well as the CPM. If those arrested start singing, the reputation of several politicians could be affected, sources said.
Modi was formally taken into police custody after being questioned twice during the day. The arrest was executed at the district police lines at Doltala in Madhyamgram, around 5km from Dum Dum airport, after the second round of questioning that went on for two hours.
Modi has been arrested for harbouring criminals and being part of the illegal activities of Gaffar, except the murder that took place on Sunday in the playing field, said Siddinath Gupta, the deputy inspector-general of police (Presidency range).
The police had arrested eight alleged Gaffar aides and found a cache of arms in Vedic Realty property on Monday, a day after the arson attack. Gaffar and his henchmen have been accused of terrorising landowners reluctant to sell their property.
Modi will be produced in Barasat court tomorrow. On Thursday, the police had arrested Biplab Biswas, an assistant project manager of Vedic Realty which has built the resort and is implementing an IT park project with government participation.
The police said Modi did not contest a statement by Biplab that the managing director was aware of all decisions taken by the assistant project manager.
Till well past midnight, the police quizzed the resorts security officer, R. Bhuinya, to find out how Gaffar and his aides could take shelter in the heavily guarded facility without his knowledge.
The police are probing the involvement of politicians in land deals in the area. Interrogation of those arrested earlier has revealed that at least 20 syndicates were involved in procuring land by force in the area, said an officer.