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CCTV scan on Short St cop

Calcutta, Dec. 14: Two days before the eviction raid on 9A Short Street that ended in two deaths, sub-inspector Noor Ali was caught on CCTV cameras sharing a table at a restaurant off EM Bypass with a land broker and a lawyer accused of plotting the trespass, police sources have revealed.

Ali, arrested last evening on charges of being party to a conspiracy to wrest possession of the property from school principal Mamta Agarwal, was today remanded in six days’ police custody by the Bankshall court. The public prosecutor had sought custody for 14 days.

“The CCTV footage is clear evidence that he was hand in glove with those accused of carrying out the eviction drive that led to two deaths on November 11,” an officer of the detective department said.

Ali was the “second officer” of Shakespeare Sarani police station and the investigating officer in the trespass case before his role came under suspicion.

“In the footage, he (Ali) is seen sharing a table with Parag Majmudar and lawyer Samir Riaz, who are now in our custody. Ali was in charge of the probe into the earlier attack that took place on the same premises in September. There was no reason for Ali to meet Majmudar, who was trying to wrest possession of the property from Mamta Agarwal,” said an officer investigating the case.

Agarwal, who ran a playschool on the premises, and her guards allegedly opened fire on the trespassers. Two recruits of a security firm who were part of the group of trespassers died in the shooting.

Majmudar is accused of plotting the eviction raid because a businessman to whom he is said to have sold the property was pressuring him to hand over possession or return the money.

In the evidence submitted in court today, the police mentioned the call details of Ali’s cellphone that showed him making and receiving calls from those allegedly responsible for the trespass.

“Ali was in charge of the probe into the September attack on the premises in which a licensed gun of Ratanlal Nahata, the tenant and claimant to the premises and Agarwal’s mentor, was snatched. But Ali did not initiate any lawful action against the alleged attackers,” an officer said.

A section of police officers is keen to widen the probe to include officers who allegedly allowed Noor a free hand, though there were enough reasons to suspect his role.

“We have not found any evidence to believe that Ali was pulled up by his immediate superiors or their bosses,” an officer said.