Suhrid strikes back at rivals in party Another lie test lined up

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By OUR BUREAU in Calcutta
  • Published 2.07.07

Calcutta, July 2: The CBI today struggled to prise out a lead in Tapasi Malik’s murder from Suhrid Dutta, who evaded all important questions during a polygraph test.

He named some CPM leaders as involved in the incident, but did not give any other details.

Suhrid, 55, was put through the lie-detector test for the first time — after being flown to New Delhi on Saturday afternoon. His statements, which came late in the afternoon, left his party in a spot, particularly the Hooghly top brass. The exercise will continue tomorrow.

According to CBI insiders, Dibakar Das, the vice-president of the Hooghly Krishak Samity, was among the leaders Suhrid named. Dibakar had been questioned by the CBI the day Suhrid was arrested but was let off.

Dibakar, whom Suhrid had replaced as the CPM’s Singur zonal committee secretary, is said to be his arch-enemy.

Debu Malik, the 45-year-old co-accused, used to be Dibakar’s protégé but later switched to Suhrid’s camp.

Suhrid today cashed in on the earlier connection, saying he had nothing to do with either Debu or the murder and Dibakar was the only person privy to Debu’s plans.

The CBI sources said Suhrid also named Sunil Sarkar, the CPM Hooghly district secretariat member, and Balai Sabui, a district committee member considered close to Suhrid.

The agency is apparently not satisfied with Suhrid’s polygraph test and has decided to put him through another round tomorrow.

“He tried evading our queries and didn’t go into the murder plot at all. Instead, he named a few leaders from his district, saying they were involved in Tapasi’s murder,” said a senior officer. “But he did not specify how they were involved.”

Suhrid also claimed that Debu couldn’t have raped and murdered the 18-year-old campaigner against land acquisition without the support of villagers. He dismissed the charge that he had employed four youths to kill her.

Earlier, Debu, who was in charge of overseeing the night guards at the site, had alleged that on Suhrid’s instructions, four strangers had called on him to identify Tapasi and her house for them. They later raped and burnt her alive on the Tata Motors project site, he had said.

CBI insiders said the agency was not too keen on questioning Dibakar again. About the others, they said the CBI was in no hurry to summon them for interrogation.

Suhrid’s revelations had CPM leaders in Singur crying foul.

“Today, he named me and tomorrow, he might name someone else, including top leaders in Alimuddin Street. I just can’t believe that Suhrid has dropped these names. Is he trying to implicate us to find a way out?” Sabui asked.