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Threat slur on minister

Behrampore, Dec. 27: A Trinamul minister has been accused of calling up the manager of a construction firm in Behrampore and threatening to abduct him if he did not withdraw a police complaint.

Junior animal resource development minister Humayun Kabir has been accused by Santu Sinha, the 28-year-old manager of Aroma Enterprise, of calling him up on the afternoon of December 23 and saying: “Agey diary tol na holey Behrampore theke tule ene tor byabostha korbo. Kono baap thakate parbena (if you don’t withdraw the complaint, I will pick you from Behrampore and fix you. No one’s father will be able to prevent that).”

Sinha said he lodged the police complaint on December 22 after Kabir and his associates “tried to obstruct the laying of a road”. “I have also sought police protection to carry out the project,” he added.

Kabir, a former Adhir Chowdhury loyalist who switched to Trinamul from the Congress last month, denied the allegations.

“I made the phone call because I was angry. Till July, I used to supervise the functioning of the company. The company owes me Rs 83 lakh. Now, those who are running it want to deny me the money. That is why they are resorting to such histrionics. They lodged a false complaint against me and my followers. I never threatened anybody,” Kabir said.

He alleged that junior railway minister and Congress strongman Chowdhury had a stake in the company. “It is a well-known fact that Adhir Chowdhury and his family members have stakes in the construction company. Santu Sinha lodged the false complaint on instructions from Adhir Chowdhury,” Kabir added.

Repeated calls to Chowdhury’s cellphone went unanswered.

The company has got the contract to construct the road between Ramnagar and Bazarshow in Murshidabad.

Industries minister Partha Chatterjee said tonight: “We will ask Kabir what he said. We will take up the matter with the chief minister after her return from north Bengal. It has to be ensured that all of us behave in a way that does not tarnish the party’s image.”

Murshidabad police chief Humayun Kabir said: “We have received a complaint and started a probe.”