Police have failed to arrest Howrah Trinamul leader Dipak Shaw, the key accused in the death of hotel owner Sumit Naha three weeks ago. Officers said they were clueless about Shaw’s location.
“Police are not trying enough to arrest Dipak. Sumit died on June 23 and the prime accused is still on the run,” said Manju Naha, the mother of the Howrah hotel’s owner.
The mother alleged that Shaw was being allowed a free run because of his connections with the ruling party. “He (Dipak) is a Trinamul leader and was president of a ward unit of the party in Howrah. That is why police are not touching him,” Manju alleged.
The 49-year-old owner of Bridge Lodge, near Howrah station, was found dead in a chair at his Baguiati home. His family has blamed the death on threat calls and intimidation by Trinamul leader Dipak Shaw over a complaint of assault filed by the manager of the hotel three days earlier.
Riaz Khan, from whose phone an alleged threat call went to Naha, was arrested at Howrah station on June 29. Riaz had often been spotted in the company of senior Trinamul leaders in Howrah.
The police said recent raids at two places in Calcutta and Howrah in search of Shaw had drawn a blank.
“We had information that Shaw had taken refuge in a house off Ganesh Chandra Avenue. A raid was conducted but the accused could not be found,” said an officer of the Howrah police commissionerate. “Raids on two houses in Liluah drew a blank, too.”
Police sources said Shaw had kept his cell phone switched off since Naha’s death.
The sleuths are keeping tabs on Shaw’s bank accounts. “Since the murder, the accused has not withdrawn money from his bank account. He hasn’t used his debit card even once. We suspect some of his associates are helping him financially. We are trying to track down the accomplices,” said an officer.
Despite police claims that Shaw was absconding, the accused had turned up at the Howrah district court to sign an application for anticipatory bail on July 1. The petition is likely to come up for hearing on Monday.
Naha’s family has alleged that Shaw and his men had been using Bridge Lodge as their pleasure den.
A footage of a CCTV installed at the hotel shows a man resembling Shaw assaulting the manager for refusing him accommodation.