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Murder charge framed against Kow

Trinamul councillor Shambhu Nath Kow will be tried for the murder of a party colleague last year over the control of a prime plot on Dhapa Road off EM Bypass.

A fast-track court in Alipore framed charges against Kow, the councillor of ward 58, and five of his accomplices on Thursday. Among the charges are murder and attempt to murder.

The magistrate, however, dropped two charges — rioting and rioting with deadly weapons. “Now that the charges have been framed, the six will be tried soon for the murder of Adhir Maity, a member of Trinamul’s ward 58 committee,” said an officer.

“The court has decided to try Kow for murder and attempt to murder. It proves that the evidence we mentioned in the chargesheet were strong. We are sure Kow and the others will be convicted of all the charges,” said an officer of the detective department.

Kow has been behind bars since April 5.

The chargesheet states Maity had been opposing Kow’s plan to shift a temple and several shops from the Dhapa Road plot, valued at Rs 10 crore. Kow allegedly wanted the temple and the shops relocated because these were blocking the way to a condominium where, the police said, he had stakes.

“During a row over the plot on March 20 last year, Kow had allegedly assaulted Maity, who had a cardiac problem and a pacemaker installed. Maity fell on the ground under the impact and died,” said an officer of the detective department’s homicide wing.

Kow fled the spot immediately after Maity’s death and was arrested in Sikandarpur, in Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia district, on April 5.

Before the police could trace Kow to the Sikandarpur house of his acquaintance Mintu Khan, a nephew of the councillor, Debasish Sarkar, was arrested in front of a Bhowanipore mall for allegedly helping his uncle flee the city.

Sarkar, 24, will be tried under IPC Section 212 (harbouring an offender).

The sleuths recovered a bag stashed with Rs 59 lakh and gold ornaments weighing 566g from a house where Kow’s wife took refuge for two days.

Kow, whose bail pleas were turned down several times, was the second Trinamul leader arrested on a murder charge after the change of guard at Writers’ Buildings.

Mohammad Iqbal, alias Munna, who was chairman of borough XV of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, was arrested in connection with the murder of police officer Tapas Chowdhury in front of Harimohan Ghose College in Garden Reach during a clash between Congress and Trinamul supporters in February 2013.

Munna was granted bail after spending two-and-a-half months behind bars. Charges are yet to be framed in the case.

Sections in the government as well as the party cite Munna’s clout as a reason for the delay in framing charges.