Three criminals, out on bail, who had plotted to eliminate one of Calcutta’s leading restaurant owners, were arrested at their hideout in Tiljala on Saturday morning.
Officials from Karaya police station finally met with success when they picked Mohammad Pervez, Sheikh Asgar and Sonu, for threatening to kill Ishtaque Ahmed, the hotel owner. Ahmed, who is also into real estate, is currently promoting a building on the Mayfair Road-Broad Street crossing in south Calcutta.
Earlier, Ahmed lodged a complaint with the Karaya police station after the trio quoted an exorbitant price for supplying inferior building material to him, officials said. “The supplier’s tag was just a cover. The group was actually into extortion, and were getting away scot free. They were involved in several other cases, apart from threatening Ahmed,” said Subrata Ghosh, officer-in-charge, Karaya police station, on Saturday.
In December 2000, the trio shot to prominence after they tried to kill an influential CPM leader in Karaya. Luckily, the leader escaped death and helped identify the trio, who were then arrested, Ghosh added.
“When they came out on bail, the group launched a fictitious company, supplying building material to promoters. The company was fake and formed only to hoodwink the police. They either abducted businessman or threatened to kill them,” said a senior police officer.
On Friday, the police were tipped off that five members of the Asgar gang were holed up in a hideout in Tiljala, in the eastern fringes of the city. “Although, they operated from Palm Avenue, they seldom stayed there,” said a Karaya police officer.
Officers surrounded the hideout in Tiljala and after a brief altercation, the trio was picked up. “Two of their associates, however, managed to flee the spot,” Ghosh added. A force from South Calcutta and South 24-Parganas police had, earlier, formed a team to trace and arrest criminals, who were part of 15 small and large gangs, involved in extortion, contract killing, murder and dacoity.