Suspended constable Tarak Das, who had been on the run since allegedly attacking some Trinamul activists a month ago, was arrested in Bishnupur, South 24-Parganas, on Sunday afternoon.
“The month-long hunt for the policeman ended around 3pm today. We had information that Das had been frequently visiting Bishnupur since disappearing from the city,” said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, joint commissioner of police, crime.
The police said Das had fled to Guwahati to evade arrest. “Das fled the city on February 3 and went to Guwahati. He changed cell phones and SIM cards a number of times while on the run to try and avoid being tracked down by the police,” said an officer of the detective department.
The cops still managed to trace him to Guwahati by examining call details of his associates and raided three places there on consecutive days from February 19. “But he managed to give us the slip,” said the officer.
The team chasing Das came to know four days ago that he was holed up in Bishnupur. “Das called some people from a relative’s house in Bishnupur’s Bageshwar Ghoshpara. From the location of the cell phone tower we identified the area and sent a team. But he hardly stepped out,” the officer said.
Around 3pm on Sunday the cops spotted Das walking towards a shop. “We surrounded him and dragged him to our car,” said a member of the team that had camped in Bishnupur for three days.
Das, who is facing four departmental proceedings, and some others had allegedly assaulted a few Trinamul activists in Baghajatin on February 1 night while they were distributing copies of the party’s mouthpiece. He allegedly sent his men again to beat them up the next morning.
A preliminary probe revealed that the activists had protested Das’s efforts to fill up ponds in the locality.
They were also organising a movement against an extortion racket allegedly run by Das, who was suspended twice last year.
Das was attached to Metiabruz police station, and was known to be a Trinamul activist, when he was first suspended following his arrest in April 2013 for his alleged role in ransacking a CPM office in Patuli and assaulting journalists during a strike called by Left parties in February 2012.
He was soon out on bail and the suspension was lifted in July. The day he rejoined duty, Das allegedly hit a promoter. He was suspended and arrested again. He was out on bail when he allegedly assaulted the Trinamul activists.