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Job cheat in cop net

A man who allegedly duped 28 youths of more than Rs 17 lakh, promising them jobs in the health department, and planted his girlfriend as a spy among his victims was arrested from his Garia home on Tuesday night.

Tapas Haldar, 43, had introduced himself as Samar Chakraborty during his stay at a hotel in Sealdah in 2011 and given a false appointment letter for a clerical job at Swastha Bhavan to an employee at the hotel, Gourhari Hazra, against Rs 30,000, police said.

Haldar opened a bank account in Hazra’s name and gave him a “salary” for the first three months. Having won Hazra’s trust, Haldar managed to collect Rs 17.3 lakh from 27 more youths from Hazra’s village, Potashpur in West Midnapore, promising all of them government jobs.

“Hazra received Rs 10,000 for the first three months and 27 more boys from his hometown contacted Haldar for government jobs,” said the joint commissioner (crime), Pallab Kanti Ghosh.

Haldar cut off all contact with the youths by changing his cell phone number. “He made his girlfriend call them up posing as a victim who had also been cheated. The woman would keep in touch with the youths and track their activities,” said Ghosh.

It is from her that Haldar learnt last year that the youths had lodged a complaint against him.

“The woman would keep him updated about the plans of the youths. It took the police some time to realise information was being leaked,” said a senior police officer.

As the 27 youths were from the same village, the cops’s suspicion fell on the woman. Her phone details revealed that she was in constant touch with Haldar.

Haldar was arrested from his Garia home on Tuesday night. He has been remanded in police custody till August 18.

Boy drowns

A 12-year-old boy drowned in a pond in Maniktala on Wednesday afternoon. Police said Sahil Jha, a resident of Canal East Road, had gone to bathe in the pond around 12.30pm. His body was fished out by neighbours and sent to NRS hospital, where doctors declared him dead.