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Cops held for robbing trader

Two policemen were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly robbing a trader, a new low for a force already facing flak for rising crime in the city.

A sub-inspector and a constable of Maniktala police station were allegedly part of the gang that had robbed Chennai trader Sahil Hamid of Rs 45 lakh on Maniktala bridge on September 30.

The sub-inspector, Sunil Das, was attached to the anti-rowdy squad. Officers refused to divulge the name of the constable. Both were picked up while they were on duty at the police station.

“Sunil Das and the constable, along with some other men, were present in the taxi that had intercepted the victim’s car on Aurobindo Setu,” a source said.

None of the senior officers agreed to go on record on the twin arrests.

“It’s shameful and unprecedented,” said a retired officer. “At the same time, it’s encouraging to see that tainted cops are not being spared.”

Lalbazar insiders said sleuths were regularly updating the brass, including the police commissioner, about the progress in investigation. “The arrests were made only after the top cop made it clear that no one should be spared,” a source said.

At least two other men — identified as Amin, alias Pankaj, and Swapan Maity — have been arrested in connection with the case.

On the day of the incident, Hamid was on his way to Dunlop with Amin and another man, Niranjan. The duo had allegedly promised to help him strike a lucrative scrap iron deal.

A gang in a taxi stopped Hamid’s Toyota Innova on Aurobindo Setu around 3.30pm, snatched a briefcase containing Rs 45 lakh from him and abducted Pankaj.

A preliminary probe led the police to believe that Pankaj and Niranjan were part of the conspiracy and had laid a trap for the trader.