The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Thief flees to district, turns local CPM functionary

Effortlessly, from theft to Left. That’s the story of Sheikh Nazrul.

Nazrul, a petty thief of north Calcutta, worked by day at a jewellery showroom on K.N. Basu Road. Three months ago, after work, he broke open the shop safe and made off with jewellery worth several thousand rupees. When he did not report for duty the next day, the owners called in the police and furnished them with Nazrul’s local address.

Some preliminary investigation was conducted, and Belghoria police station officers discovered that Nazrul, anticipating arrest, had fled the city. “Nazrul was nowhere to be found,” said officer-in-charge Sekhar Basu.

Co-employees, neighbours and relatives were grilled. They revealed that Nazrul had found refuge in Pingla, West Midnapore. A week ago, a police team reached Pingla.

“We were taken aback when people recognised Nazrul from his photographs, but identified him as an influential member of the local CPM,” said one of the police team members.

Then, the local party leaders asserted that Nazrul was an integral part of the CPM and refused to believe he had criminal antecedents. It took the team several hours to convince Pingla’s people that Nazrul had, indeed, stolen jewellery and should be tried in court.

Finally, the police persuasion paid off and Nazrul was handed over. A few pieces of jewellery were recovered from him.

During interrogation, Nazrul confessed he had forged links with local criminals Dilip and Khoka to sell the stolen gold. On reaching Pingla, he got in touch with some local CPM leaders and was drafted into the party.

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