The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Freed’ goon back in cop net

Four nights after he was “forcibly freed” from the Sarsuna police lock-up by members of a local club, sharpshooter Laltu Dolui was re-arrested from Bowbazar on Sunday morning.

Deputy superintendent of police Subhankar Chatterjee said the Thakurpukur police, accompanied by an informer, surrounded a house in Blackburn Lane, under Bowbazar thana jurisdiction. Laltu and brother Ranjit were asleep when the police stormed the house.

Laltu, a key member of jailed gangster Jishu Jain’s gang, was wanted in about half-a-dozen murder cases. He was arrested by the Thakurpukur police on Wednesday and taken to the Sarsuna police outpost.

A team of six cops was guarding the goon when the outpost was ‘attacked’ by a mob of around 50 youths, most of them members of local club Subeda Sangha. The ‘rescue party’ carried out the operation swiftly and smoothly. The outnumbered policemen were herded into a corner while the lock-up was smashed open and Laltu set free.

With the bizarre ‘coup’ causing a flutter at Bhabani Bhavan, the Rapid Action Force and the local police began to comb the Dhapapara area where Subeda Sangha is based.

The president and secretary of the club — identified as members of the mob that freed Laltu — were taken into custody.

The probe trail finally led to the Blackburn Lane house, where Laltu often took shelter. During interrogation, Laltu told the police that many associates of Jishu Jain had used the Bowbazar house as a hideout in the past few months.

The landlady, said to be a relative of Laltu, has been detained for interrogation, said officials of Thakurpukur police station.

“They considered this a safe house as the Behala and Thakurpukur police were on their trail, but Bowbazar thana didn’t know they were holed up in this area,’’ said an officer. The South 24-Parganas police has alerted the city police about the arrest and the presence of the Jishu Jain gang in areas like Bowbazar.

Deputy commissioner of police, central, Zulfiquar Hasan, said it was “impossible” to track down every criminal taking shelter in central Calcutta. “We always coordinate with our district counterparts,” he added.

Meanwhile, officers said the dust raised by Laltu’s ‘escape’ from the Sarsuna police lock-up will not settle down in a hurry. One of the questions doing the rounds is why the policemen present at the outpost failed to fire even one shot to disperse the mob.

A preliminary report on the fiasco has been sent to director-general of police D.C. Vajpai.

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