The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Inspector in trafficking net

Officer-in-charge of Sinthee police station Chanchal Sarkar and two others, including a 38-year-old woman, were arrested under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act in a flat in Salt Lake's EE block on Saturday night.

Sarkar, Jayanta Pal and Geeta Debnath were rounded up around 10.30 pm, on a complaint lodged by building's residents with Bidhannagar (East) police station.

The arrests have left senior officers red-faced, as this is the first time in recent past that an inspector has been booked under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act.

Soon after the news reached the headquarters, deputy commissioner (north) Damayanti Sen went into a huddle with her colleagues.

Police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee was informed about the arrests on Sunday morning. The brass then decided to seek a report from the North 24-Parganas police ' Salt Lake falls under its jurisdiction ' about the events leading to the arrests.

'A detailed report has been sought from the district police superintendent. We will decide on action to be taken against Sarkar after the commissioner goes through the report,' said Anuj Sharma, deputy commissioner (headquarters).

An officer of the 1978 batch, Sarkar was serving the special branch when he was sent to Sinthee police station four months ago. He had earlier headed Watgunge thana.

Onlookers jeered as Sarkar struggled to hide his face while being taken to the prison van at the sub-divisional judicial magistrate's court, where the trio was remanded in judicial custody till March 22.

Geeta, widowed last year, had tried to pass off Sarkar as her husband on Saturday night. She sat in the van with her head hanging. Pal tried to cover his face with a kerchief.

'When we approached the police, we were not sure about the identity of the man (Sarkar). We had not seen him before,' said Kaveri Dutta, one of the complainants. 'We had often appealed to Pal, who had taken over the flat, not to indulge in immoral activities. But he did not heed our pleas. Yesterday, seeing the three enter the flat, we decided to put an end to the menace.'

The flats were built by a cooperative of CMDA employees. Residents of the area said Pal, who would supply building material during the construction of the flats, had forcibly taken over the apartment from a man called Dwijabon Gucchait a few years ago.

He used to let it out illegally, and at times, when there were no tenants, he would bring in 'clients for immoral activities'.

Pal's lawyer Soumyajit Raha alleged that his client had been framed by members of the cooperative.

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