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Hostage kin slam police

The family of a Jadavpur trader abducted nearly a month ago in Assam alleged on Sunday that police were not doing enough to rescue him despite the kidnappers calling almost every day for ransom.

The family of Ujjwal Majumdar wrote to commissioner of police Surajit Kar Purkayastha on Saturday, requesting steps to ensure his safe return.

Majumdar, in his mid-30s and a resident of Sree Colony in Jadavpur, had left Calcutta on a business trip with a friend from Assam, Joy Biswas, and reached Guwahati on July 25 and checked into a hotel.

Majumdar and Biswas went missing on July 27.

Two days later, Majumdar’s family received the first ransom call for Rs 1.5 crore.

After negotiations over a month, Majumdar’s family have managed to whittle down the ransom amount to Rs 15 lakh. His maternal uncle Srikanta Banerjee said: “They called me around 4pm on Sunday and asked for Rs 15 lakh. I told the caller that paying such a huge sum wouldn’t be possible but he refused to listen to me.”

“Sometimes they beat up Ujjwal and make us hear his screams on the phone.”

“We sold our gold ornaments and borrowed money, somehow managing to collect Rs 1.5 lakh,” he added.

Immediately after the call, Banerjee informed the sleuths investigating the case.

“We met senior officers at Lalbazar on several occasions, but we got nothing other than their verbal assurance,” said Banerjee.

“Instead of helping us, the officers of Jadavpur police station suggested that we arrange Rs 15 lakh and bring Ujjwal back home.”

Joint commissioner of police (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh said: “We are in touch with our counterparts in Assam and efforts are on to rescue the victim.”

Sources said a team from the Calcutta police detective department’s anti-rowdy squad visited Assam last week but returned without success.

“Apparently, he (Ujjwal) has been taken to a dense forest outside Guwahati. The abductors keep changing locations. Assam police are helping us,” said an officer of the detective department.

Kamduni protest

The Kamduni Pratibad Mancha, a platform of Kamduni villagers demanding justice for the college girl who was raped and murdered, decided on Sunday to hold a rally next month to protest atrocities against women in Calcutta.

At its first meeting, the Mancha decided that it would coordinate with other organisations fighting against assault on women.

Protesters from other places like Sutia in North 24-Parganas are invited to the rally. “We are fighting for a common cause, so all must come under a single umbrella,” said Bhaskar Mondal, a secretary of the Mancha.