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Remand for highway gang

An Uluberia court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of Rahim Mollah, accused of assaulting four young Calcuttans on National Highway 6, and remanded him in judicial custody for 14 days.

The 26-year-old was arrested on September 6 and remanded in police custody for three days the next day.

The other five accused — Javed Sheikh, 25, Sheikh Habib, 22, Guddu Bashar, 24, Sheikh Rafiqul, 25 and Sheikh Enamul, 25 — were arrested from Hooghly’s Janai on September 8 night and have been in police custody since.

They will be produced before the additional chief judicial magistrate, Uluberia, on September 12.

The four young Calcuttans — two of them women — were on their way to the city in a car when the bike-borne accused allegedly chased, assaulted and molested the women near Birshibpur on National Highway 6 on September 5 night.

The youngsters — all DJs — were returning from a show at an engineering college. They had dinner at a popular eatery in Kolaghat, where the accused first saw them.

The cops are yet to recover the BlackBerry phone the accused had allegedly snatched from one of the youths.

“We are trying to recover the phone as it is a vital piece of evidence. But the accused have so far denied having snatched the phone,” said an officer of Uluberia police station.

“Once the rest of the accused are remanded in judicial custody we shall pray for a test identification parade,” said Sukhendu Hira, additional superintendent of police, Howrah (rural).

While being chased by the gang, the DJs had dialled 100 — the police emergency helpline — thrice for help.

The police officer on the other end told them that the area was beyond their jurisdiction and later gave them the landline number of a police station 25km from the site of assault.

A patrol team of Uluberia police station, said to be barely 200m from the spot, allegedly did not move despite being alerted about the assault by passing trucks.

The police ultimately reached the spot 20 minutes after the bikers had fled.