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Probe delayed, papers yet to cross Hooghly

Investigation in the unexplained death of Howrah lodge owner Sumit Naha could not start on Thursday because two police commissionerates on both sides of the Hooghly were caught up in a “jurisdiction” jumble over the case.

Bidhannagar police cited the court order transferring the case to Howrah on Wednesday while their counterparts across the river said they are yet to receive the relevant documents to start the case.

Naha, 49, was found dead in the living room of his Baguiati home on Monday morning, three days after his manager had filed an assault complaint in Howrah against Trinamul activist Dipak Shaw and his supporters. The Naha family had lodged a complaint at Baguiati against the same persons on Tuesday, accusing them of relentless threats to the hotelier before his death.

Bridge Lodge manager Asish Manna had alleged that former Trinamul ward president Dipak Shaw had assaulted him for refusing him a room in the hotel where he allegedly used to stay for free, drink with friends and create a ruckus at night.

Shaw and his associates were still at large, despite two complaints against them.

Naha’s mother Manju, co-owner of the lodge, said she has no faith in the police. “I do not need to know which police are investigating the case. The net result is zero. There was a complaint lodged on June 20 but no action was taken. My son died on June 23 and still there is no action even three days after his death. This shows the efficiency of the police force. Aren’t they entrusted with the job of providing security to commoners like us?”

Sources said Bidhannagar police were asked to transfer the case “as early as possible”.

The chief judicial magistrate of Barasat court had accepted on Wednesday Bidhannagar commissionerate’s twin prayers for including the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the accused and shift the case to Howrah.

“We would transfer the case diary and the relevant documents by Friday,” claimed a senior officer of Bidhannagar police.

He couldn’t explain why the papers were not sent to Howrah on Thursday itself. But he kept citing the court order: “The case is no longer in our jurisdiction.”

Howrah police passed the buck to their Bidhannagar counterparts. “Where are the case documents?” an officer asked.

The officer fumbled for an answer when asked why the lodge manager’s complaint wasn’t acted upon despite CCTV footage provided by the hotel showing a man resembling Shaw assaulting Manna and sifting through the occupancy register on June 20.

Sources alleged that Shaw was a petty extortionist at a vegetable market but worked his way up the political ladder to become a ward president. He lost his post following a flurry of serious allegations against him, the sources added.