regular-article-logo Wednesday, 31 May 2023

First arrest in Durgapur hotelier murder

SIT officials said they arrested Abhijit Mondal, 30, from Bamunara on outskirts of Durgapur town for his alleged involvement

Abhijeet Chatterjee Durgapur Published 20.04.23, 05:40 AM
Abhijit Mondal

Abhijit Mondal

Durgapur: The special investigation team (SIT) probing the murder of hotelier Rajesh Jha a.k.a. Raju Jha, who allegedly had political and coal smuggling links, arrested one person from the outskirts of Durgapur town on Tuesday night.

This is the first catch since the high-profile crime took place on April 1 in Shaktigarh.


SIT officials said they arrested Abhijit Mondal, 30, from Bamunara on the outskirts of Durgapur town for his alleged involvement in the murder.

"During the course of our investigations, we found Abhijit's involvement in the murder and arrested him last night. We have sought his remand and will interrogate him after taking him to our custody to know more," said Kamanasish Sen, East Burdwan district police chief.

Sen said as of now Abhijit worked in a private company. Sources, however, said that Abhijit was the driver and security guard of another alleged coal smuggler in Durgapur who was last year arrested by the CBI and was out on bail now. Sources said the alleged coal smuggler, Abhijit's employer, was one of Jha's rivals.

Jha was gunned down in an SUV while he was traveling to Calcutta with aide Bratin Mukherjee and alleged coal smuggler Abdul Latif believed to be close to Birbhum Trinamul Congress strongman Anubrata Mondal. Assailants fired at him on the evening of April 1 when the SUV stopped at Shaktigarh for refreshments.

Abhijit Mondal’s locked flat in Durgapur

Abhijit Mondal’s locked flat in Durgapur Dipika Sarkar

Abhijit owns a flat at an upscale private township Tapaban City near Durgapur. No one was found there after his arrest.

Sen said he could not reveal anything more for the sake of the probe.

"I can share only this much now. I can't reveal more for the interest of the investigation," said Sen.

Prior to this, some personnel in the SIT had gone to neighbouring Jharkhand and Bihar to trace the professional gunmen engaged in the murder and found the involvement of a Bihar-based contract killer who is lodged in jail.

The SIT also recovered two bags that had gone missing after the murder. SIT officers said that the bags belonged to Jha. "We found Rs 1 lakh in cash, some garments and a bottle of Scotch inside the bags," said an SIT officer, but did not specify where these bags were found.

The live and used cartridges found at the spot and inside the blue car abandoned by the gunmen after the murder did not match the bullets stuck inside Jha's body.

"This means the assailants were carrying many pistols," said a source.

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