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Cops on gang rivalry trail to firing

Sunday’s early morning firing on Ballygunge Circular Road was the fallout of a rivalry between two emerging gang-lords — Babar Khan and Vicky, police said.

“Both Babar and Vicky were into sleaze rackets and had links with the Tiljala underworld. Their paths must have crossed,” said an officer.

Shibpur boy Babar, sleuths said, had shifted base to central Calcutta a few years ago and started operating in parts of the Bowbazar, Hare Street and Zakaria Street areas, where he often got involved in brawl.

“In 2000, Babar had got involved in a brawl with cops at Bankshall court. Several policemen were injured,” said an investigating officer.

The youth allegedly had a hideout on Rotu Sarkar Street in Bowbazar, where he would at times stay with his two brothers. Of late, he had also started frequenting some south Calcutta pockets.

The detective department had arrested him a few years ago but he managed to get out on bail. Babar had since ventured into the raw leather trade in the Tiljala area and came in contact with some “top-rung businessmen” whom he had allegedly lured into a sleaze racket.

Officers in the detective department said Babar was often spotted with girls at a coffee shop near Jodhpur Park. He also frequented a few dhabas on Ballygunge Circular Road and Russell Street in south Calcutta and on Rabindra Sarani in north Calcutta.

Sleuths probing the Sunday morning firing said gangsters like Babar would spent huge amounts on drinks at night clubs on weekends and then head for roadside dhabas for pocket-friendly food.

As for Vicky, the police have little information except that the Picnic Garden resident was close to toughs active in Tiljala’s leather belt and had links with sleaze rackets.

Sleuths said they were banking on Vicky’s acquaintances in the nightclub circuit to know more about the youth in his early 30s.

Officially, though, no one would like to speak up about Babar or Vicky.

“It’s difficult to comment about anyone right now. We are looking into criminal antecedents of a few persons,” said Damayanti Sen, the deputy commissioner of police (detective department).

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