The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Grant shelter, risk eviction
- Elderly scholar cries abduction, assault

Three years ago, he had provided shelter to a student and her husband by allowing them to move into his apartment. Today, the two are allegedly repaying the elderly scholar's favour by forcing him out of the apartment.

Satyabrata Rai Chowdhuri, 68, an Emeritus Fellow of the University Grants Commission teaching international relations, has lodged a police complaint accusing Soma Jaiswal and her husband Rajendra Kumar of abducting him and usurping his flat in Labony housing estate, Salt Lake.

Soma has denied the allegations levelled against her by her teacher, now a cardiac patient who has undergone bypass surgery, has been operated upon for cancer, and cannot walk without a crutch.

'Last Tuesday, when I left my flat for an evening walk, Soma and Rajendra, along with two other men, forced me into a car and abducted me,' Rai Chowdhuri stated in his complaint to Bidhannagar (North) police station.

The author of Nuclear Politics: Towards a Safer World alleged that he had been taken to a godown somewhere in the city and almost killed.

'Soma and Rajendra did not get into the car, but the two men took me to a building and dragged me into one of the rooms,' he told police. 'They beat me up severely, breaking four teeth and injuring my ribs and fingers. I was bleeding from the ear and nose.'

The professor said the two abductors threatened to kill him if he did not write a suicide note. 'When I refused, they fired at me, but I was saved by a Sikh security guard' Hearing the gunshot, some women came in and, with the help of the Sikh guard, rescued me and hailed a taxi. It was late night by the time I reached home.'

Rai Chowdhuri had purchased the flat in 1974 and lived there with wife Bela. Their only daughter had died in her infancy. According to him, Soma started visiting his house in the early 1990s.

She got married to Rajendra Kumar Jaiswal and both became quite close to the Rai Chowdhuris.

Bela died in 2000 and two years later, the couple moved into the Labony flat. 'Soma told me that she was having problems with her in-laws and so I allowed them to stay,' Rai Chowdhuri said.

The first hint of trouble came on April 19 this year, when the two brought in three goons and forced the old man at gunpoint to sign a document stating that he had sold his property to them. Later, the couple slapped an eviction notice on him. The case is now being fought in Sealdah court.

Soma, however, said: 'We have not abducted him and he is making up the story. We have bought the flat from him for Rs 10 lakh and we have all the documents to prove it.'

Late on Friday, police officials took Rai Chowdhuri for a medical examination.

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