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Leader in 'poison' net

Kharagpur, July 17: Two persons, including the former West Midnapore president of the now-defunct Trinamul Yuva, were arrested today for allegedly trying to poison the drinking water of police officers.

Manoj Thambe, the former Trinamul Yuva leader, and his associate, Satish Gupta, were produced in the court of chief judicial magistrate Manjushri Mondal today and remanded in 12 days' police custody. Thambe is a group D employee of South Eastern Railway in Kharagpur.

Public prosecutor Mohammad Habib said: "The police came to know about telephone conversations among some people over the past four or five days during which a plan to kill some police and administrative officers was discussed. After this, the security at the offices of the district magistrate and the police superintendent was stepped up."

Habib said that around noon yesterday, Gupta entered the SP's office complex in Midnapore town.

"Gupta was challenged by some policemen and caught. Two paper packets were found in the pockets of his trousers. In the packets, white and yellow powder was found, which we suspect is poison. During interrogation, Gupta told the police that he was sent by Thambe to mix poison in the drinking water filter used by senior police officers. Thambe was arrested yesterday. Similar packets of white and yellow powder were found on Thambe too," the public prosecutor said.

SP Bharati Ghosh said in a text message to The Telegraph: "One person came to Mdp (Midnapore) police Hq (headquarters) office with poison to put poison in the drinking water. After this, he was supposed to go and put poison in Kgp (Kharagpur) Town PS (police station) water filter. He is arrested and his associate and planner are also arrested. Investigation is on."

Habib said the powder would be sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory to find out if it was poison.

The district president of Trinamul, Dinen Roy, said: "He (Tambe) was once the president of the Trinamul Yuva. Now, he has no relation with our party."

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