KIDNAP CARTEL BUSTED 

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By FROM PROBIR PRAMANIK in Siliguri
  • Published 30.12.01
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Siliguri, Dec. 30 :    Siliguri, Dec. 30:  In true Bollywood style, Bengal police and their Krishanganj counterparts last night foiled the attempted kidnapping of a tea-plantation owner in Uttar Dinajpur. The police also busted the "Sittu and Senti" inter-state cartel, which is responsible for a series of kidnappings in North Bengal and Bihar. The gang, which has operated in Siliguri, was about to kidnap the tea-plantation owner in neighbouring Islampur when its luck ran out. The police got wind of their plans and rushed to where the gang had assembled. Though most of the gang members managed to flee, two of its "planners and executioners" - Pappu Singh and Tausif Alam - were caught. The arrest also led to eight other gang members being caught in night-long raids stretching from Siliguri through Krishanganj to Purnia. Parading the two "prize catches" today, Siliguri additional superintendent of police K. Jayaraman said: "During investigations into businessman Mukesh Agarwal's kidnapping in August, we stumbled upon the involvement of the Sittu-Senti gang, which had been responsible for at least three major kidnappings in Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts alone over the past two years." "On Saturday, we got a tip off that the dreaded Bihar-based gang had chalked out a plan for another kidnapping in the region. We learnt that the gang had assembled on National Highway 31A to kidnap a tea-estate owner from Islampur," the officer added. "A joint team of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling police rushed to the spot. Though the gang gave us the slip, we caught Singh and Alam at their native village of Lohaghar under Bahadurganj police station in Krishanganj in Bihar," the officer said. "The duo turned out to be the executioners for the Siliguri-based "ringleaders" Sittu Singh and Senti Singh," he added. "Following the arrest of Singh and Alam, joints raids by Bengal police and our Krishanganj counterparts in Bhaktinagar, Naxalbari, Khoribari, and Bahadurganj netted eight more gang members," Jayaraman said. "They include Nittu and Jyoti, two hard-core criminals with records of extortion cases, from Haiderpara under Bhaktinagar police station on the outskirts of Siliguri," he added. "Five other members of the gang - Om Raj Khotwal, Amit Parasher, Shekar Sahani, Sushil Kumar Mishra and Sailendra Kumar Mishra were picked from the Khoribari-Naxalbari area on the Indo-Nepal border. Another member, Bittu, was arrested from his residence in Krishanganj," the police official said. Kotwal, who was earlier arrested in connection with the attempted ambush on GNLF chief Subash Ghising in February, was on bail, he added.