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Duo held for stealing hired car

Two men allegedly fled with a car priced at over Rs 6 lakh they had hired from a travel agent, stripped it of accessories and abandoned it by the roadside after failing to find a buyer.

Aarik Mandal and Ganesh Sau, who were arrested recently following a tip-off, had met a few months ago inside Alipore Central jail and decided to gang up once they were out, police said.

“The duo, in their early 20s, were not resourceful enough to arrange for a receiver who would buy the stolen car. Instead, they took out the vehicle’s LCD monitor and the music system and sold them for quick money,” said a police officer.

Sources said the items the duo had yanked off the Tata Sumo Gold could have fetched them only up to Rs 15,000, a stark contrast to the value of the car.

Aarik, from Haringhata in Nadia, and Ganesh from Metiabruz, had contacted a travel agent at Joynagar in South 24-Parganas on April 6, hired the car and toured around the city and suburbs till late that evening.

“While the car was speeding down the EM Bypass, one of the two had asked driver Barun Pailan to stop near Dhalai Bridge off Patuli, saying he needed to relieve himself. As he stepped out of the car, the other man beat up the driver and overpowered him. His friend soon joined him and took the steering wheel. Pailan was threatened at gun-point and thrown off the vehicle near Anandapur,” said the officer.

The police started a robbery case based on the driver’s complaint.

The car was found abandoned a week later near Taratala. The LCD screen and the music system were missing.

“The duo had destroyed the SIM card they had used to contact the travel agent. So we had to depend on human intelligence. We launched a search for the duo with the help of sketches drawn with the description given by the driver,” said a police officer.

The police claimed the two had been arrested earlier on similar charges. “They were out on bail when they committed the latest theft,” said an officer.

Factory fire

A fire broke out at a plastic factory in Mahestala’s Chakmir, on the southern fringe of the city, on Tuesday morning. Five fire tenders took six hours to douse the flames. Officers of the fire and emergency services department suspect the fire was triggered by a short-circuit. No one was injured. The extent of damage could not be ascertained.

Road death

A middle-aged pedestrian died after being hit by a truck on Strand Road on Tuesday afternoon. Police said the Howrah-bound vehicle hit Uddal Paswan, 34, at the crossing of Strand Road and Armenian Ghat Street. Paswan was taken to Calcutta Medical College and Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.