The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ex-Katwa OC back in custody

Calcutta/ Durgapur, March 10: Barely 10 days after Debjoyti Saha, the former officer in charge of Katwa police station was granted bail after being charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, the criminal investigation department (CID) arrested him today — this time on the charge of murder.

Around 6 am, a team of CID officers trooped down to Gariahat and woke up Saha, a 1987-batch sub-inspector with the state police.

Not sure how to react, Saha gave in and was taken to Burdwan, where he was produced at the Katwa additional chief judicial magistrate’s court. He was remanded in police custody and later brought back to Bhawani Bhawan in Calcutta for interrogation.

On February 25, Saha allegedly gunned down Tuhin Samanta, a 35-year-old part-time lecturer with Kandi Law College, from point-blank range after a local school poll snowballed into a full-blown political battle.

Next day, Tuhin’s brother Tushar, also an eyewitness, brought a murder charge against Saha and six CPM activists, including a CPM zilla parishad member Iswar Das.

On February 27, Saha was suspended and subsequently booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Saha was released on bail amid an outcry of discontent.

“It is our victory that the OC has been arrested again under a non-bailable section. Let us see how things progress,” Tushar said.

CID inspector-general D.P. Tarenia said: “We have some evidence but now that he is in police custody, we will interrogate him to find out more details, including what prompted him to open fire.”

The state government, insiders claimed, decided to act tough on Saha, who was awaiting promotion as inspector, following a wave of criticism that rocked Katwa and had its repercussions even among the CPM top-brass in Burdwan district.

What made matters easy was an instruction from the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court in Katwa to initiate a case of murder against Saha.

On March 2, following court orders, the police registered a murder case against him and the CID was roped in.

“Besides collecting necessary information, if required, we might also visit Katwa with Saha and try to reconstruct the incident. We will also talk to the eyewitnesses and gather circumstantial evidence,” said a senior officer from the CID’s homicide wing.

Around 12.30 pm, two CID inspectors, A. Pahari and S. Ganguly, brought Saha to the court.

Some Congress activists armed with black flags and garlands of shoes were waiting there but the officers, managed to wriggle out and rushed Saha into the court.

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