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Jail remand for 9A accused

Pinakesh Dutta, a land broker arrested for the 9A Short Street case, was present at the spot during the November 11 trespass and fled after hearing gunshots from the compound, a police lawyer submitted in court on Wednesday.

The accused, who had been in police custody since his arrest on November 14, has been remanded in judicial custody till December 11.

Two bouncers were gunned down at 9A following the trespass, which was apparently aimed at vacating the premises. Mamta Agarwal, who lived and ran a playschool in the compound, and two of her guards were arrested for the shooting.

At Bankshall court on Wednesday, police lawyer Krishna Chandra Das opposed Dutta’s bail plea, submitting that sleuths had gathered “vital evidence” against him while he was in custody. “The police have frozen a bank account of Dutta, in which Parag Majmudar (an accused in the case, now in custody) had deposited Rs 2 lakh for an attack on 9A on September 15,” Das submitted.

“The sleuths have also spotted Dutta’s signature on the register of the travel agency from where he had hired a car in which he and his men travelled to 9A early on November 11.”

Sources said an image of the signature would be sent to handwriting experts.

Following Dutta’s arrest, the police had seized Rs 82 lakh from a bank locker in Dutta’s name. “Majmudar had paid Dutta the money for making necessary arrangements for the November 11 attack,” said a police source.

The prosecution also submitted that the police have recorded the statement of the driver of the Tata Sumo who drove Dutta and his men to 9A Short Street on November 11 morning. “According to the driver, Dutta fled the spot after hearing gunshots inside the premises. He went to Kolaghat,” Das submitted.

Defence lawyers Yasen Rahman and Sandip Ghosh in their submission stated that their client could not be charged with trespassing as he did not enter 9A on November 11.

The prosecution’s stand, however, was that Dutta was one of the “main conspirators” behind the attack and the incident should be “treated as a whole” — no matter whether he was inside or outside the compound.

The court on Wednesday accepted Dutta’s prayer to record his statement before a magistrate. The police on Tuesday started a dacoity case against Majmudar and sought his custody for September 15 incident. Majmudar was remanded in judicial custody till December 10 for the trespass, while hearing on the police custody plea will be held on December 3.