News archives

Prime Suspect Gopal Sarkar Produced Before Court In Ranaghat

2015-03-27 14:23


Gopal Sarkar being taken to court in Ranaghat. Picture by ABHI GHOSH

Ranaghat, March 27: At least two persons had masterminded the dacoity and rape of an elderly nun at the Ranaghat based Convent of Jesus and Mary high school and executed their plan by a hired gang of miscreants mostly from Bangladesh.

This has been claimed by the CID sleuths probing the case, who have so far been able to arrest only one of the brains behind the crime – Gopal Sarkar (28), a construction labor from Habra’s Gohalbati village, while the other still eludes the cops.

The sleuths now have been trying hard to find out the other brain – a local link in Ranaghat, who had provided all information about the booty and had also provided detailed layout of the convent.

Gopal was produced before the additional chief judicial magistrate’s court in Ranaghat on Friday. ACJM Papiya Das ordered police custody for 14 days for Sarkar, granting the petition filed by the CID.

Gopal was charged under section 212 (harboring offence), 216A (penalty for harboring robbers), 376 (rape), 395 (dacoity) and 397 (Robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) of the Indian penal code.

Interestingly enough, the first sections (212 and 216A) were not slapped against Mohammed Salim Sheikh, the prime accused in the crime who was arrested on Thursday.

On Friday, the CID prayer before the ACJM to add these two sections against Gopal, in addition to the original section which was slapped while initiating the case (No. 38/2015) at the Gangnapur police station.

Assistant public prosecutor Pradip Kumar Pramanik said: “Gopal had facilitated and organized the miscreants to commit the crime. He also provided shelter to the miscreants before and after the March 14 rape and dacoity at the convent. He was also benefitted by organizing the crime as he also got a major share of the looted booty from the convent. It is clear that he has direct involvement with the crime and also harbored it. So the additional sections were slapped”.

“The investigation is at a very preliminary stage. We would slap some more charges against him, including the charge of conspiracy (120B of IPC) in course of time”, claimed a CID officer present at the court.

CID, however, so far could not recover looted booty from Gopal’s possession.

CID sources claimed that Gopal, who sneaked to Indian three years ago, had close proximity to the criminals Bangladesh.

“During the initial interrogation he has confessed about his involvement in a number of cases of dacoities in Nadia, North 24 Parganas and other districts. Sarkar mostly organize the criminals and execute the plan provided by other brains”, said a CID officer.

“In Ranaghat too, Gopal worked in connivance with a local link, who provided information about the booty and the entire layout of the convent”, said a sleuth.

CID sources in Nadia claimed that sleuths have stumbled upon at least three persons, who are being interrogated to establish the ‘local link’ with Gopal.

“We have been interrogating these persons including a tout, of which at least one has facial resemblance with the miscreants found in CCTV footage, to make a conclusive submission before court”, said a sleuth.

“We have got important information from the cell phone of Gopal and his wife Anita. We have confiscated their phones. These two phones have provided important clues to us”, added a sleuth.

“After the interrogation it appeared to us that Gopal was directly involved. He organized the criminals and also helped them to flee by crossing the Indo-Bangladesh border and by train to other state in the country”, the sleuth said.

According to CID sources, the initial tip of about Gopal was provided by some touts in Nadia and North 24 Pargnaas.

The CID could conclusively zeroed upon on Gopal only after, it found that at least three of the five suspected cell phones tracked through a nearby tower in Ranaghat Don Bosco para, had made contact with him at the other end.

“It was not possible for us to nab the owners of those moving number, but we choose to nab the recipient of the call. It was Gopal”.

A member of the investigating team said: “So we detained him for interrogation. During the interrogation he confessed that he knew the gang and also left one of the members at Howrah station in last week for a train to Mumbai. Gopal also confessed that in past also he organized similar dacoities by the Bangladeshi miscreants”.

Go back