Calcutta, June 3: Two Trinamul Congress general secretaries were arrested last night during a police raid on a sleaze racket at a South 24-Parganas resort.
The leaders had changed their surnames in the guest register at the resort in Bishnupur, about 30 km from the city.
The police arrested 15 people, including six women. All of them were produced at Alipore subdivisional judicial magistrate Manjit Singh’s court today.
The women were released on bail but the rest, including the Trinamul leaders and the manager of the resort, were remanded in judicial custody till June 5.
An embarrassed Trinamul suspended the leaders. “Ashish Chakraborty and Biswanath Bose, both general secretaries, have been suspended from the party,” said spokesman Nirbed Roy.
“The decision was taken by the highest leadership of the party after their arrest. The decision was approved by (party chief) Mamata Banerjee,” Roy said. The party has set up a panel to probe the incident.
Chakraborty was confidential assistant to mayor Subrata Mukherjee earlier. A Mamata favourite, he fought the parliamentary elections against the CPM’s Basudeb Acharya and lost.
Public prosecutor Udaynarayan Chowdhury said among those arrested was a 16-year-old girl. “Two of the arrested persons were identified as Asish Dutta, a resident of Gobinda Auddy Road, and Biswanath Roy, a resident of Kalighat in south Calcutta,” he said. The police later realised that the surnames were fake.
A team led by deputy superintendent of police (discipline and training) Pronab Kumar Das conducted the raid at Shalini Resort last night.
“The couples were found in compromising positions when the police entered,” said additional superintendent (industrial) Rajesh Kumar Singh. “We are looking for the resort’s owner.”
The police were working on information that a sleaze racket was being run at the resort. “We were keeping a watch on it for some time,” a senior district police officer said.
Policemen acting on a tip off were positioned outside the premises. The swoop began after the “guests” stepped in.
A large crowd converged on the court premises today. Many of them to get a glimpse of the leaders who faked surnames for a vicarious getaway. Some Trinamul supporters claimed that the leaders had been “framed”.
Chakraborty and Bose would be produced in court on Saturday. Police sources said a probe into why they changed surnames would be conducted.