The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cop cry alerts bullet bearers

Forty-eight hours after stumbling upon the city’s single-biggest haul of ammunition, a post-mortem being done by Calcutta Police has revealed that too much noise was made too soon.

Officials admitted that police, after being tipped off by intelligence agencies about the presence of an ammunition-laden truck in the city, made “too much noise” that led to the militants coming to know of the police dragnet closing in on them. As early as on August 21, a police team visited the parking lot on Hyde Road where the cache was discovered later, but returned empty-handed. All they did was alert the transporters of terror.

This explains why both the driver and the cleaner of the truck apparently loaded with bamboo poles but, actually, concealing 25,000 AK-47 bullets in the driver’s cabin, fled the city before the detective department could find out where the truck was parked.

“We have lost a very good opportunity of capturing the people who ferried the bullets here and also those who were probably going to take them elsewhere,” a senior Calcutta Police officer said, adding that policemen visited the Dhobitala site on August 21, but failed to locate the rogue truck. August 21 was also the last day the two Kashmiris, who changed the number-plate of the truck from an Assam to a Meghalaya number, were seen near the truck.

Friday brought more bad news for the city police. Inquiries conducted by their counterparts in Assam and Meghalaya both hit dead ends, officials admitted. The Assam number-plate actually belongs to a Maruti, and the Meghalaya plate fitted later is that of another vehicle, located on Thursday. None of the owners has, according to information, any terrorist link.

The city police, therefore, has fallen back on Tata Motors (formerly Telco), as the truck was a Tata make. “We have given them the engine and chassis numbers so that they can give us details of the person who bought the truck,” deputy commissioner, detective department, Soumen Mitra said.

Eve-tease arrest

Lalbaba Shibaji, a youth hailing from Asansol, was arrested by Bowbazar police on charges of teasing a girl in front of Chandni Chowk Metro station on Friday night. According to police, Shibaji, in his mid-twenties, had passed a lewd comment at the girl.

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