The city police arrested a constable of Howrah Police on Saturday on charges of duping unemployed youths by promising jobs in the police service.
In a pre-dawn swoop, the sleuths picked up Debabrata Chakraborty — the 37-year-old policemen — from his Barrackpore residence. The investigators recovered Rs 5,000 and photographs and certificates of several youths from Chakraborty’s house. He was remanded in police custody after being produced in court on Saturday.
Soumen Mitra, deputy commissioner of police, detective department, said Praloy Mandal, an unemployed youth, brought the fraud to the notice of the cops on May 8.
Mandal, a resident of Paschim Midnapore, visited his sister in Burdwan in June 2002, where he met Chakraborty in a local ashram. “Chakraborty pretended to be a sub-inspector and told Praloy that he had considerable influence in the police force. He took six photographs from Praloy and photocopies of his educational certificates,” said an official of the detective department.
After a month, Chakraborty demanded Rs 70,000 from Praloy. “It was difficult for Praloy’s family to arrange the money. His father took a loan of Rs 60,000 from a bank,” said an officer. “Praloy borrowed the rest of the amount from his sister.”
On July 24, 2002, Praloy, along with his brother-in-law, met Chakraborty at a spot in the North Port police station area and handed over the money.
The unemployed youth received a forged appointment letter on May 8. “It was on the letterhead of Police Training School (PTS). There was also a forged signature of an officer of the assistant commissioner rank,” said the official. “Praloy found the letter suspicious and contacted the police.”
As his complaint reached the Lalbazar police headquarters, sleuths started investigating the case. “We arrested Chakraborty after a week,” said Mitra.
Chakraborty had managed to get hold of an original letterhead from PTS and made several forged appointment letters. “We suspect he took money from others, too. We are examining the certificates seized from his house,” said an official.
Suicide: Rajib Majumder, a constable of the Lake Town police station, committed suicide inside the police barracks by shooting himself with his service revolver on Friday night. Majumder, 25, had been suffering from depression over a failed affair, said Ajay Nand, additional superintendent of police, Bidhannagar.