Just when everyone thought Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel medallion theft case of four years ago had been forgotten, the murder on Thursday of Jibon Bagdi, an accused in the case, has prompted investigating agencies to reopen the probe.
The CBI had earlier declared the case closed due to lack of evidence. In September last year, the agency had placed a “closure report” before the Bolpur court until any further clue or lead in the investigation was received. But after the murder of Jibon, called the “slender hand” by cops, investigators have started rethinking the entire case. “We have to inquire whether this murder is linked to the medallion theft,” a CBI officer said.
Though we had placed a closure report in the court last year, this case is being reviewed. We are checking for any connection of the murder with the case,” said a CBI official on condition of anonymity.
“In the absence of any strong evidence against him, we could not attach him to the theft case. We had an assumption he was in the team that broke into Rabindra Bhavan Museum and stole the valuables, including the Nobel medallion,” said the official.
“We have received a complaint from Jibon’s widow and started investigating. No one has been arrested so far,” said Birbhum SP Laxmi Narayan Meena.
Jibon had a long criminal record. He was known as a top antique thief in the area and was also involved in many house thefts.
On Thursday morning, he was brutally murdered by miscreants near Porota village. Police sources said the killers chopped off his neck, shoulder and the left side of his head. He had been out on bail for the past five months.
After the heist, discovered on March 25, 2004, the police netted all criminals in the district with records of snatchings and burglaries. “Within two days, we caught him near Illambazar. During interrogation, he revealed the names of other suspects and provided vital clues. He was one of our prime suspects. We had no evidence against him, but he was booked for another crime,” a police officer said.