The abduction of Captain Manpreet Jolly, Jagdish Behera, Bhusan Patil and his wife and one-year-old daughter from a residential apartment by goons on the night of October 27 had led HBT to wrap up its operations in Bengal citing law and order problem.
A team of police went to Visakhapatanam on October 31 to record the statement of the three officers. “The officers told the team that they cannot identify the abductors as they had wore monkey caps. So it’s difficult for us to arrest anyone,” said Officer in Charge of Haldia police station M Hussain.
According to him, police been interrogating other people like the security guard of the ATM located just opposite to the residential apartment so that they could give them clue about the people who had allegedly abducted the officials.
Police sources, however, said the goons were brought from outside Haldia and were hired by a local Trinamool Congress leader Shyamal Adak, who happens to be the personal assistant of Trinamool MP Suvendu Adhikary. “If locals had threatened the officers, then they would have been easily identified and caught. That’s why Adak hired goons from other nearby districts,” a source in the intelligence branch of state police said.
It has also been alleged that since the perpetrators were closed to ruling Trinamool Congress, the police are not making any progress in the case.
There are also reports of the brewing tension between two Trinamool factions that led to the exit of HBT from Haldia. Sources said the Trinamool faction led by Adhikary and another by Trinamool MLA from Haldia Siuli Saha are at loggerheads. The rivalry between the two leaders, sources said, was the cause behind the rift within the local unit of the Trinamool’s labour wing — INTTUC — that widened after HBT retrenched 30 workers in the wake of its decision to leave Haldia.
After Siuli won the Assembly election in 2011, tension grew between her and Adhikary. It only heightened following the defeat of the Trinamool in the Haldia Municipal election. Adhikary has since then blaming Siuli for the party’s defeat. In the wake of the Haldia fiasco, Siuli’s supporters are accusing of Adhikary of hatching a conspiracy to force the HBT out of Haldia in order to benefit another cargo-handling firm. It has been alleged that Adhikary’s group is trying to engage Ripley and Company for work at berth 2 and 8.
Adhikary, however, refused to comment on the issue.
Trinamool factional clash leaves 1 dead
A local Trinamool Congress leader was killed in an armed clash between two factions of the party at Labhpur in Birbhum district early Sunday.
Police said Chitto Mandal was declared dead after being taken to the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital early this morning. Mondal had suffered bullet injuries during the clash over some local issue late last night.
Later, angry villagers hurled stones at a police vehicle as his body was brought to the village. Villagers had also blocked the arterial Labhpur-Bolpur-Katwa Road. There was no report of any injury.