Calcutta, Oct. 30: The Narcotics Control Bureau today suspended N.C. Patra, the assistant director of its zonal unit in Calcutta, following an allegation of corruption.
Rajiv Walia, the deputy director-general of the bureau in Delhi, confirmed the suspension. Walia said a departmental probe had been initiated against Patra, who shot to fame with the drug-bust operation in the rented-out ground-floor apartment in former CBI joint director Upen Biswas’ residence.
“Everything has been kept purely confidential, but the charges are obviously serious in nature,” he added.
Bureau officials said Patra was under the scanner for “various corruption charges” over the last few months, but a recent complaint lodged by Arshad Ali Mondal, a resident of North 24-Parganas, that the officer had demanded a “large amount” from him caused the headquarters to act.
Patra caught Mondal on charges of drug peddling. Mondal had denied them.
Intelligence officials of the bureau investigated the allegations against Patra and submitted a report in Delhi a few days ago. The suspension followed.
Patra took charge as assistant director in Calcutta about a year ago. On May 17 this year, he helped the FBI break an international drug racket a gang was running from the ground floor it had rented in Biswas’ Salt Lake home. He had earlier served as superintendent in the Calcutta office for a few years before being transferred to Shillong in late 2000.
Officials working in the zonal office have been in the news for the wrong reasons earlier, too. In June last year, Pradip Dutta, a resident of Chinsurah, had lodged complaints with police that bureau officials were demanding money for the release of his brother-in-law, Narayan Bose, held overnight in the Calcutta office.
Dutta and Bose were picked up from their residence on charges of drug peddling on the night of June 19. But Dutta was released from lock-up on condition that he would pay Rs 2 lakh for the freedom of Bose.
The next day, Dutta went to the deputy commissioner of police (detective department), Soumen Mitra, with a complaint that narcotics officers had asked him to pay a bribe. Two officers were then transferred from Calcutta, which the bureau, however, described as “routine”.