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Handcuffs on Short St cop

A police officer who had investigated the shooting at 9A Short Street last month was arrested on Friday evening on charges of being party to the conspiracy to wrest possession of the premises from school principal Mamta Agarwal.

Sub-inspector Noor Ali was the second officer at Shakespeare Sarani police station when a group trespassed on nearby 9A Short Street early on November 11, leading to the shooting incident in which two recruits of a security agency died.

Ali was arrested after being summoned to the police headquarters for questioning. He has been charged under Section 120B of the IPC for criminal conspiracy.

“The call records of Ali’s mobile phone reveal that he was in touch with several persons involved in the trespass, both before and after the incident. He was also in touch with a local Trinamul leader who was present at the spot during the trespass,” an officer of the detective department said.

Pallab Kanti Ghosh, joint commissioner of police (crime), said there was little doubt that Ali would have been aware of the plot to raid the premises. “That is why we have booked him for being involved with the conspirators.”

Mamta, who ran Young Minds International School at 9A Short Street, is in judicial custody as a co-accused in the shooting along with two guards she had employed.

Police sources said Ali’s alleged involvement in the conspiracy came to light after investigators interrogated Mohammad Riaz, the lawyer arrested on Wednesday.

“Riaz corroborated the information that we had gathered about Ali’s involvement,” an officer involved in the probe said. “Ali spoke to the lawyer over phone 15 times between 2am and 6am on November 11. He called the lawyer and also received calls from his number.”

Ali, who had been “closed” from duty days after the incident and then transferred to Metro Railway Police, was summoned to Lalbazar around 3pm on Friday.

The decision to arrest him was taken after he allegedly failed to come up with a satisfactory explanation for his links with Riaz and others who had been trying to take possession of the property.

Lalbazar officers couldn’t recall the last time a colleague had been arrested on charges of being involved in a criminal case he had himself investigated.

A source said Ali allegedly became part of the conspiracy after he was asked to investigate the September 15 trespass on the same premises, an incident that Mamta says forced her to arrange for “protection”. In her recorded statement, Mamta accused Ali of sitting on her complaint against those involved in the September raid.

The arrested sub-inspector will be produced in Bankshall court on Saturday.