The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mask comes off fake VIP son

Burdwan, May 22: After keeping police on their toes yesterday, the youth who got himself lavish hospitality claiming to be the son of the private secretary of Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal turned out to be a sham after all.

Santosh Patil alias Santosh Balaji Yange was arrested today, a day after the police put him up in a hotel and even handed him Rs 1,000 as “pocket money”.

Patil had claimed that he had been robbed of his belongings and after being “slapped” by an assistant sub-inspector, called up the police control room in Writers’ Buildings from a public booth.

Not taking chances, the control room called up Burdwan to say they had received a phone call from Chhagan Bhujbal’s office in Mumbai and Patil should be treated well and his alleged muggers brought to book.

Deputy superintendent Ambika Mukherjee said today: “We had found a telephone number belonging to the youth’s uncle in Mumbai. When we called him, the entire fraud came to light. We have arrested Patil and sought a week’s remand from court.”

Mukherjee added that the youth had pulled off a similar confidence trick with the police in Shibpur, Howrah, and managed to get away with Rs 500. “We spoke to the police in Shibpur. They told us that he had filed a complaint saying he had been robbed and after dropping the same names, was paid the money as help to get back home,” Mukherjee said.

The Burdwan police called up Bhujbal’s public relations officer, Abha Patil, who said there was no one by the name of Balaji Patil working as his private secretary.

Patil, the police said, was an electrician and lived in Dadar and his father, Balaji Yange, had a lowly job at the zilla parishad in Sholapur.

“The youth had worked in the houses of very senior policemen, including the Maharashtra director-general of police, and collected a large number of important telephone numbers. Armed with them, he has been conning people,” said Mukherjee.

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