The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Single-handed teen terror

He is only 14 and his left hand was blown off three years ago in an explosion. But neither his age nor his physical handicap proved an impediment when he waylaid a trader on a crowded city road or snatched valuables from a pedestrian.

Sujan Seal is said to be the youngest gangster to fall into the city police dragnet in the recent past. After he was arrested, he took investigators by surprise while narrating his “activities”. Little wonder, the teenager already has a “reputation” in the city and the underworld.

Sujan, a resident of Thakurpukur, was arrested by Bowbazar police in the Chowringhee area while trying to flee after robbing Joynath Srivastav, a newspaper agent, of Rs 58,000. Two of his accomplices managed to board the taxi in which they came and sped away. Sujan failed to do so, as the cabbie had started speeding before he could reach the taxi. Later, police carried out raids in the Metiabruz and Thakurpukur areas and rounded up three other gangsters, including the mastermind.

According to Sujan’s statement during interrogation, he is a loner, who is not associated with any particular gang. “I started my career on my own when I was 11. Two months later, my hand was blown off while making bombs,” Sujan told officers of Bowbazar police station.

But Sujan’s ‘success story’ impressed gang leaders of the Thakurpukur area, and the tales of his operations started spreading in the Behala, Metiabruz and Garden Reach areas.

“Swiftness is the key to his success. The boy can run like lightning. On Sunday, our policemen gave up after chasing him for a while. Fortunately, two constables chased him on a motorcycle belonging to a passerby and pinned him down,” said an officer of Bowbazar thana.

Sujan worked for other gangs on “contract”. “Other gangs hired me for jobs that took only five minutes. I charge according to the job I am commissioned to carry out,” he told police.

For Sunday’s job, Sujan was hired by Ram Sharan Ram, a Metiabruz-based gangster, who was also rounded up by police during the raid on Sunday evening. “I had no idea how much I would be paid for this job. Ram told me that it would depend on the money that the newspaper agent was carrying,” Sujan told investigators.

Till Saturday, Sujan was working for Gopal Pradhan, another Thakurpukur-based criminal. He joined Pradhan’s gang a few months ago. Pradhan, too, was arrested by Bowbazar police, on the basis of Sujan’s statement.

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