In a major breakthrough, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested Trinamool Congress councillor Mohd Ikbal alias Munna from Dehri-on-Sone in Bihar on Thursday in connection with the violence resulting in the murder of a police sub-inspector here on February 12.
Controversy had surrounded the involvement of Mohd Ikbal in the case with Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim “openly shielding” him. The City Police, however, decided to go ahead and file charges against him.
This was followed by the transfer of the Commissioner of Police, R. K. Pachnanda, at the instructions of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She also handed over the case to the CID.
Mohd Ikbal, who is also the chairman of a borough committee of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, had been absconding since then and had reportedly fled Kolkata.
“Mohd Ikbal has been arrested by the CID from Dehri-on-Sone in Bihar and we will try to bring him to the city on transit remand,” Sivaji Ghosh, Additional Director General, CID, told The Hindu late in the evening.
Even though Mr. Hakim had gone out of his way to shield Mohd Ikbal, the latter was seen in television footage standing beside Sheik Suhan who subsequently confessed to have murdered the police sub-inspector, Tapas Chowdhury, in the Garden Reach area of the city. When this was pointed out to him, the Minister had told journalists that he did not “believe” that the Trinamool Congress councillor was in any way involved in the incident.
The Trinamool Congress was put into an awkward position because of Mohd Ikbal’s involvement in the Garden Reach violence and his proximity with Mr Hakim who was asked by the party leadership to keep a low profile and refrain from speaking to the media on the matter.