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Two held for Malda firing

Malda, Jan. 15: Two suspected Kamtapur Liberation Organisation militants were arrested last night in connection with the December 27 bus firing in Habibpur.

With the arrests, the total number of people picked up in connection with the incident has gone up to five.

Malda police chief Kalyan Mukherjee said the arrested persons were Uttam Mondol, 40, of Dhumgram in Habibpur, and Sanjoy Barman, 38, of 12th Mile, also in Habibpur, 28km from Malda town.

“They were arrested by Habibpur police and produced in the chief judicial magistrate’s court here today,” Mukherjee said. The duo have been remanded in police custody for 12 days. “We have to interrogate them to find out their exact role in the shooting. We are looking for KLO militant Malkhan Singh and his aides Kumod Mondol and Nabanu Barman,” Mukherjee said.

Yesterday, Malda police had put up a poster with colour photographs of the trio asking for information. (Metro had erroneously reported in Wednesday’s edition that one of the persons mentioned in the poster was Jiban Singh, the KLO chief).

Police sources said they had information that Malkhan was planning to kill ministers Krishnendu Chowdhury, and Sabitri Mitra, senior police officers and bureaucrats.

The KLO has called a strike on January 17 in north Bengal and four districts in Assam. “We are taking steps to prevent militant activities. We have deployed 100 specially trained officers in four police stations of Old Malda, Bamungola, Habibpur and Gajole. The CID bomb squad is also on alert,” Mukherjee said.

Sanjoy Barman’s wife Sarada said: “My husband was picked up on January 10 but the police are claiming that they had arrested him last night. He is a Kamtapur Peoples’ Party member and a farmer. We have two sons in Classes VII and IX. I will approach the human rights commission.”

KPP Malda district president Bimal Sarkar said Sanjoy was a party member and not linked to the KLO.