Barrackpur/Krishnanagar, 25: Two prominent Trinamul Congress leaders one each from Nadia and North 24Parganas fell victim to three youths, who allegedly cheated the one by impersonating the other and decamped with Rs.1.5lakh in cash.
The Titagarh Police have arrested Bapi De and two of his aides Rahul Yadav and Somnath Pal as they impersonated Trinamul ruled Barrackpur Municipality’s chairman Uttam Das for taking Rs 1.5 lakh from Nadia district TMCP president Ayan Dutta, who is son of Tehatta’s Trinamul MLA and West Bengal Khadi Village Industries Board’s Chairman Gouri Shankar Dutta, to complete the formalities of tendering process of a construction project purportedly conceived by the municipality.
A team of Titagarh police on Tuesday arrested the trio from a bar on Kalyani Expressway. Rahul and Somnath are residents of Madhyamgram while Bapi lives in Khardaha.
Police said, the trio often introduce themselves as close associates of politically influential persons to siphon money.
Early on this month Bapi introducing himself as Barrackpur Municipality’s chairman Uttam Das, had called Ayan Dutta, who runs a construction farm and offered him to take part in the tendering process of a construction project being promoted an public private partnership basis.
Ayan, who is also a Trinamul Congress councilor of Krishnanagar Municipality, said: “The man quite convincingly introduced himself as Barrackpur Municipality’s chairman Uttam Das and requested us to visit the proposed construction site. Even though I personally do not know Uttam Das, I did not smell anything suspicious. After visiting the site few days later when we decided to take part in the tendering, the caller in disguise of “Das” advised us to come to Barrackpur SDO office on October 18 with money and credentials to complete formalities”.
On October 18 “Das” called Ayan and advised him to take help of his two representatives as he would be busy in some official meetings.
Ayan said: “Even then we had no doubt about their credibility as “Das” was in touch with us throughout the phase over phone. So on October 18, I sent my partner Prasenjit who without any doubt handed over them Rs.1.5lakh in cash and papers. But, they decamped with the cash. We were confused as the phone of “Das” went switched off. I later collected the phone number of real Uttam Das, Barrackpur’s chairman who told me that similar fraudulent acts were committed using his name earlier also”.
Police started an investigation on the basis of two complainant lodged by Uttam Das and Prasenjit Roy Choudhury, Ayan’s partner, and arrested the trio yesterday.
Chairman Uttam Das said: “This is quite embarrassing to me. Ayan is our party colleague, but I don’t know him personally. Police have acted fast before they could do any further damage to my reputation”.
A police officer of Barrackpur commissionerate said that the trio in 2015 duped a business man by impersonating Panihati municipality chairman in same way. they also do the same to a Trinamul MP from Birbhum. “They are on bail at present”, the officer said.
The trio was charged for committing fraud misrepresenting themselves to be some other persons and for cheating.