The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Just the briefcase for Feluda
- Reappearance of a bagful of cash five years later baffles sleuths

Wanted: a Feluda to solve a Baksha Rahasya that has left the city sleuths flummoxed.

The disappearance of a cash-stashed briefcase from a Central government office five years ago and its mysterious reappearance on the same spot has stumped the city police. They are now desperately seeking a super-sleuth to slip into the chappals of Satyajit Ray’s legendary ‘private detective’ and crack the ‘brief-case’.

It was in an almirah of the National Insurance Corporation (NIC) office, at B.B.D. Bag, that the briefcase containing the staff salary — Rs 2.27 lakh in 54 brown packets — was found this August, five summers after its disappearance from the same place. Both the local police and the detective department had probed the case, but failed to trace the money or its container.

The latest twist in the briefcase baffle has left the cops completely clueless. “We have dug out the case file that had been stashed away in a corner of the record room at Lalbazar police headquarters. But nothing fruitful has come out so far,” said Zulfiquar Hasan, deputy commissioner of police, central division. “We may well have to urge the detective department to take up the case… In fact, we need a Feluda-like character.”

The first phase of investigations had ended with no leads in sight and the case file being consigned to the dusty records dump.

Now, the second phase of investigation, which the Hare Street police initiated after the reappearance of the money, has hit a dead end. According to sources, the police went to the NIC office and seized the briefcase. On examination, they found both the packets and currency, which had disappeared in 1997, intact and untouched. “The person who had stolen the briefcase could not have returned the money after a gap of five years. How the bag came back is a real mystery,” said an officer.

The Hare Street police are now busy preparing a list of the “bright sparks” in the force, posted in various police stations. “Officially, we can’t ask them to help us, but we will ask them to read the case file and suggest which track to take,” said an official.

Soumen Mitra, deputy commissioner, detective department, said: “The case is undoubtedly very interesting. We have not received any instructions to take it up, but if the Hare Street police seek our help, we will definitely consider playing a part.”

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