Five criminals, toting revolvers, were rounded up from the Calcutta Leather Complex (CLC) at Bantala, in South 24-Parganas, late on Monday. All five were wanted for a string of criminal cases. Police sources said Monday’s were the first arrests made from near the leather complex.
Near about midnight, the police said, the night guards of the leather complex were on duty, when they saw a Matador stop near the CLC gate. “Before they could react, several people got off the van, their faces covered, and spread out in different directions, in the darkness,” said the police. They kept the vehicle running, with a driver at the wheel.
The criminals, meanwhile, scaled the boundary wall of the complex and disappeared inside. The guards cordoned off the area and spread themselves out to catch the intruders.
“Just when the guards were closing in on the group, the criminals started firing. Some of them managed to clamber over the boundary wall and escape in the waiting Matador, while five were netted,” said an officer.
Those arrested have been identified as Khusboo, Zakir Hussain, Bapi, Gunda and Sibnath Mondal. Among them, Bapi and Gunda were wanted in a number of cases and several FIRs are lodged against them. All five are residents of Tiljala. Initial investigations revealed that dacoity was their main motive.
Superintendent of police, South 24-Parganas, Deb Kumar Ganguly, said that the alertness of the leather complex guards foiled a “possible dacoity... It is quite surprising that dacoits have become active in such a fortified area, and that they have started their activities even before the tanneries have started functioning. I have asked my officers to step up patroling in the area so that outsiders cannot infiltrate into the complex,” said Ganguly.
The police superintendent added that he would talk to the tannery-owners, who are shifting here in the months ahead, as well as the contractors, for providing identity cards to their workers, so that outsiders did not get a chance to enter the premises.
“Ever since the complex has come up, several unknown people have been walking in, on the pretext of official work. It is not easy to keep track of everyone. I think we need to be on the alert and provide the guards with sophisticated arms, in case of attempts like Monday’s,” added Ganguly.