Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Hatkata Dilip affair

Old news. Hatkata Dilip (Hatkata means "hands cut off" in Bangla) , an infamous goon was patronized by CPM leaders. So hatkata Dilip went on killing, looting on behalf of the Communists, and no one dared to touch him. When he grew too big for his boots, a section of Communists opposed to Subhash Chakravarty, his main patron, had him arrested. Stung by the betrayal, Dilip threatened to spill the beans about his relationship with the CPM leadership. Haven't heard much about Hatkata Dilip since, God knows what happened to him. The Police Officer responsible for his arrest was transferred, according the Chief Minister because "he adopted unethical means in investigating crimes"

A collection of articles about the Hatkata Dilip affair.

CRIME AND POLITICS-I (The Kolkata Statesman, 2004-12-03)

A much wanted dreaded criminal and an absconder Dilip, alias hatkata Dilip, had been finally arrested by the police of Salt Lake, under leadership of SDPO Humayun Kabir, from the residence of a footballer Shasti Duley of East Bengal Club, Kolkata. Six murder charges, including double murder in a shootout at Nayapatti, Salt Lake, in June, extortions, intimidations, rioting, gangsterism etc are pending against him. The hideout at village Napara, under the Haripal police station, in Hooghly district, was arranged by another footballer Dipankar Roy of the same club. From hatkata Dilip’s possession a firearm and a few rounds were seized. A large quantity of empty liquor bottles and cigarette packets were found in the room suggesting Dilip’s addiction to alcohol, perhaps to get over the pangs of loneliness.

Casual police
Immediately after arrest, Sanatan Das, a local uncle of Shasti Duley, publicly said that under the sports minister Subhas Chakraborty’s instruction, they were forced to provide asylum to the culprit. Shasti’s family was going to be ruined for obeying the minister’s pernicious direction. Shasti’s brother Salil said that he knew that a person had been staying at his house on the instruction of minister Subhas Chakravorty. Initially, hatkata Dilip received training and inspiration from Pinaki, a mafia don of the Lake Town area. Eventually, he separated himself from Pinaki, organised a gang of his own and unleashed a reign of terror in the Lake Town-Kalindi areas from 1996.
Panic-stricken people of the area had to succumb to Dilip’s writ as the police was either casual or disinterested about curbing him for unknown reasons. Evidently, it emboldened Dilip to earn notoriety and indulge in high-handedness, crime and violence and to show contempt for the law. People were inclined to believe that a nexus between Dilip and a few CPI-M leaders, including the sports minister, was the reason for the police’s ambivalence or lukewarm attitude.
Sanatan’s assertion blaming minister Subhas Chakraborty and the admission of the culprit’s brother on the reason for harbouring the absconder under the minister’s instruction was a spontaneous outburst. It was made immediately after the arrest which ruled out any opportunity for exaggeration or fabrication. Shasti’s mother said that Dilip had been staying in a room on the first floor of their house for the last two months. The accused’s aggrieved wife said that CPI-M leaders had arbitrarily utilised her husband’s services. Anticipating the impending calamity, she met a leader of the CPI-M and pleaded protection for her husband, who showed helplessness in extricating him from the police’s dragnet.

Inner circle
Minister Subhas Chakraborty assured to look into the matter but conveniently did a volte-face. She threatened to disclose the mystery of her husband’s allegiance and abject submission to political leaders. Indeed, there is evidence that the accused actively campaigned for CPI-M candidates during the last Lok Sabha and municipal elections. He was seen moving with CPI-M leaders in the constituency.
In fact, his photo with leaders appeared in leading dailies. He supplied a substantial bhetki fish to an influential stalwart of the CPI-M for his son’s wedding ceremony. Interestingly, in police custody, Dilip admitted that of late he realised that the political leaders were not his saviours. They recklessly used him to serve their interest. Once the purpose was served, they showed their backs.
The chain of events and the circumstantial evidence make it clear that Shasti and his family members harboured a notorious absconder on the diktat of an influential CPI-M leader. Ordinarily, no sober person will shelter a branded criminal wanted by police for a long time, exposing himself and his family to risk. Apparently, Shasti maintained close links with the CPI-M leaders, especially, with the sports minister. He often visited the minister’s residence and came close to his inner circle. Therefore, he unhesitatingly sheltered the outlaw obeying the powerful leader’s instruction.

(The Kolkata Statesman, Dec 04,2004)


The chief minister has enthusiastically said that hatkata Dilip had been arrested. He was visibly happy, but was mum on the question of the sports minister’s involvement. The police’s successful operation and the SDPO who led the operation received glowing tributes from unbiased people. Broadly, it was believed that the chief minister inspired the police to take firm action.
It was whispered that the chief minister would work in the public interest and lift the morale of the police. It was also expected that the sports minister may be stripped of his portfolio. But then the SDPO’s sudden transfer was a bolt from the blue.

Buddhadeb’s somersault
The chief minister virtually disowned the transfer. He advised journalists to ask the IG (law and order). The IG promptly said that it was a routine transfer. The DGP eventually endorsed the IGP’s stand. Subsequently, the chief minister justified the transfer and said the SDPO was pulled out as he adopted unethical means in investigating crimes.
The SDPO is a gazetted police officer. His transfer and posting is decided by the home department and the order is finally signed by the home minister. In this case, the chief minister being the home minister signed the transfer order.
Hence, on the SDPO’s transfer, the chief minister’s evasive reaction is far from honest. Secondly, routine transfer is generally done adhering to the police manual. The length of the incumbent’s tenure at a particular station, performance, capability and public relations etc. are the criteria for posting to a new assignment. In short, the SDPO’s lightning and isolated transfer has betrayed the logic of a routine transfer. The IGP’s assertion and the chief minister’s corroboration at a later stage justifying the untimely transfer is misleading.

Hatkata Dilip in confess cry(The Kolkata Telegraph, Sunday, October 31, 2004)


Hatkata Dilip, arrested from the Hooghly home of national footballer Sasthi Duley yesterday, has sworn revenge on his “protectors” for letting him down.

Police said the criminal, whose full name is Dilip Banerjee, has told them of his connections with several CPM leaders in North 24-Parganas, including a minister, and how he worked for them in return for “political patronage”.

Now “let down”, he wants to make a confessional statement before a magistrate detailing how he intimidated voters and indulged in criminal acts.

In Delhi, CPM Bengal secretary Anil Biswas did not rule out a probe into sports minister and party leader in North 24-parganas Subhas Chakraborty’s connections with Dilip, but “only if there is enough evidence”.

But football club East Bengal moved fast, leaving out Sasthi and Dipankar Roy, alleged to have introduced Dilip to Sasthi, from the Durand Cup squad.

“Dilip has told us during interrogation that a part of his criminal record can be attributed to what he has done for these top CPM leaders and now he wants to expose them since they have disowned him,” a senior police official told The Telegraph. “This is why he wants to make the confessional statement.”

The officer interrogating Dilip said he has requested the police to ensure his security after the confessional statement. “He fears he may be killed by influential people after he records his confessional statement,” the officer added.


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