Calcutta, April 18: Howrah police swooped down simultaneously on a North 24-Parganas neighbourhood and Liluah this morning and picked up a Calcutta police constable and a government officer on charges of running a drug racket.
Howrah superintendent of police Rajesh Kumar said the raid teams recovered morphine worth lakhs from the houses of constable Uday Mondal and Patit Paban Sarkar in Haroa and Liluah.
Mondal and Sarkar allegedly organised peddlers to sell drugs near schools and intersections in Barasat, Calcutta, Howrah and the suburbs. “They had developed a network of two dozen peddlers who pushed drugs every day at select joints in and around the city,’’ said Kumar.
Mondal is a constable with the fourth battalion of Calcutta police and Sarkar an industrial development officer in Hasnabad, North 24-Parganas.
Deputy commissioner of police, headquarters, K.L. Tamta said Mondal would be suspended. “We have ordered an inquiry and it is matter of going through the formality,’’ he said.
Sources said the police in Liluah received a tip-off last week that “some persons” were selling drugs near a school not far from the police station. Around the same time, the North 24-Parganas police received a complaint that a drug-peddling racket was operating there.
Police officers from the districts exchanged notes with sleuths in Calcutta and sensing that the racket operated across Calcutta and neighbouring districts, a crack team was formed to trap the kingpin.
Last night, the special police team trapped Ansar Ali Gazi, a peddler, at Sakchura in North 24-Parganas. “We caught him with high-quality heroin,’’ said Kumar. During interrogations, Gazi threw up details about Sarkar and Mondal and the ways in which the two operated.
Sarkar, a resident of Chamrail in Howrah, had met Ershad Ali of Basirhat, a trader with a shop in Liluah and also a drug dealer, a few years ago. The two soon developed a rapport. The police said Ali had introduced Gazi, who then ferried ganja, and constable Mondal to Sarkar.
Mondal and Sarkar set up base in Sakchura, where Gazi had a decorators’ shop.
The Howrah police said they have evidence that Mondal used his connections as a city policeman to organise the racket in the city. “Two peddlers, Abdul Mannan and Ghulam Rasool of Katharpur in Haroa, who were arrested in the raids, confessed that Mondal had helped them peddle drugs in central and south Calcutta,’’ said an investigating officer.