A key aide of slain Hooghly gang lord Shyamal Das alias Hubba was found murdered early Saturday.
A police team from Hooghly fished out the lifeless body of Ratan Ray (37), a feared hitman in the employ of Hubba, from a pond in the Rishra police station area. Preliminary inquiry suggests that the deceased could likely have been throttled to death before being dumped in the water.
“By the time we fished out his body, rot had set in. We have already detained three suspects in connection with the killing,” Rajnarayan Mukherjee, subdivisional police officer (SDPO), Serampore, told HT. Sources in Hooghly police further informed that Ray had been wanted for multiple homicides, in addition to extortion and a host of other criminal cases.
Police sources further informed that Ray had been out drinking near a closed factory adjacent to the Rishra railway station back on December 6. Six of his friends later took to the deceased to a nearby paddy field in the Barujibi area.
“Ray downed more liquor with friends while on the paddy field. Finding him inebriated, his friends strangled him to death and dumped the body in a pond barely a few paces from the scene of the crime,” said a senior police officer.
Acting on a tip-off, Priyabrata Buxi, officer in-charge of the Uttarpara police station nabbed three suspects and following their lead later proceeded to the water body with a deputy magistrate and fished out Ray’s body.
Ray lived in the Rishra police station area and joined Hubba as a partner-in-crime from the time the latter extended his area of influence in Hooghly. “He soon rose up the ranks in the Hubba gang and came to inspire fear and clout by way of his underworld operations. He later set up another gang in the Barujibi area of Rishra, with a view to extend the reach of Hubba’s sphere of influence,” said an officer.
Ray played a key hand in the murder of Bidyut Pandey, a Congress supporter, in 2000 at the behest of Hubba. “He called out Bidyut from his residence at night and choked him to death. Ratan and his men feared Bidyut had turned an informant for Sukamal Das, a police officer in the Serampore sub-division, who was hot on Hubba’s trail and bumped him off,” the officer said.