Polba (Hooghly), March 3: A man who posed as the officer in-charge of traffic control in the Calcutta police headquarters at Lalbazar for the past one year and cheated residents in the Mahandah area here was arrested by the local police on Saturday.
Officer in-charge of Polba police station Sukomal Das said the man, Kamal Moitra, 42, was “on duty” at a local Shiv temple on the occasion of Shivratri.
The head priest of the temple, Brihaspatinath, had introduced Moitra as a high-ranking police official to the local traders. Moitra used to collect money from them and the shop-owners on the temple premises.
When Das went to the temple to see the situation there on Shivratri evening, the priest introduced Moitra as the “high-ranking Lalbazar officer”.
After Das struck up a conversation with Moitra, he found several discrepancies in what he said. In course of the conversation, Moitra told him that he was from Nivadui in Duttapukur of North 24-Parganas. Incidentally, Das, too, came from the area.
After the officer in-charge returned from the temple, he checked with Lalbazar if there was any officer by that name. He also checked with his sources in Duttapukur if any such officer had come to the area recently.
“I know every police officer living in Duttapukur. But I did not know about anybody by the name of Kamal Moitra,” Das said. He rushed back to the temple and confronted Moitra. Asked to show his I-card, Moitra failed. He was immediately arrested on charges of fraud and cheating.
“It seems the priest had used Kamal as a front to make money” Das said.
“Not only did he pose as an officer, Moitra often feigned to be a journalist or a news photographer. Several identity cards were recovered from him, which included those of a cameraman of a Chinese television channel and a reporter of “Indraprastha Samachar International”. He also had a card of the traffic warden organisation of the Calcutta police and a pass of the special branch, security control,” said Nadia superintendent of police Ajoy Kumar.
The priest is absconding.