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The ‘saab’ in the FIR

Calcutta, Feb. 13: Police have included “a person whom people were referring to as chairman saab” in one of the first information reports related to the murder of sub-inspector Tapas Chowdhury.

“A tall and bald person, whom people were referring to as chairman saab, was present when sub-inspector Chowdhury was hit by a bullet,” according to the FIR lodged by Milan Dam, an inspector of the Rapid Action Force.

Several residents and some police officers said Mohammad Iqbal alias Munna, a Trinamul councillor and also the chairman of borough XV of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, was referred to as “chairman saab” in the area.

Contacted, Munna said: “My name is unnecessarily being dragged into the controversy. I don’t know the people arrested in connection with the murder.”

The mention of “chairman saab” in the FIR assumes significance as state urban development minister Firhad Hakim had held a “CPM-Congress nexus” responsible for the violence.

“Munna is very close to Hakim and that’s why he has risen so fast in Trinamul after switching from the CPM in 2009. Everyone in the area knows that the two persons arrested in connection with the murder, Abdus Subhan and his uncle Mohammad Ibne Saud, are Munna’s aides…. It will be interesting to see how the police will proceed on him,” said a businessman in Garden Reach.

The FIR has not accused “chairman saab” of any crime but the mention leaves elbow room for the police to tilt either way.

An ABP Ananda clip, from which Subhan was identified yesterday, showed the shooter standing next to Munna before the shooting took place.

Asked about Munna, Hakim said: “He is an elected representative. Elected representatives have to meet people from all walks of life, on a daily basis. He does that, I do that…. Nobody has ‘anti-social’ or ‘criminal’ written on one’s forehead.”

On whether Munna would be arrested, the minister replied: “As far as I know, all those who were involved in the violence and the firing, as was evident from the footage, have already been arrested. I do not know if there is need for more arrests.”


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