KOLKATA: It was a bamboo scaffolding erected on Monday morning at 90 Sarat Bose Road that caught the syndicate‘s eye resulting in the extortion demand. The fact that the residents of the two-storied bungalow procured construction material on their own, bypassing the syndicate, had enraged the gang. Six members of the gang then went to Cooper Street to confront Krishna Bose (86), who has been living there for 43 years. Krishna’s son Sugata had come to her rescue and called cops that led to the arrests.
But, guess what was the amount of construction material that the gang could have bagged from the Bose family. A bag of cement; a bag of stone chips and five sacks of sand. The total cost for the material was less than Rs 1,000, said one of the masons carrying out the repair.
Harvard University professor Sugata, who has been residing for extended periods in the house built in the mid-20th century after he became MP in 2014, is appalled at the length the syndicate went to harass and threaten his mother, a three-time former MP, for such a trifle amount. “It was a minor repair job. A few days ago, the overhanging shade of the balcony had collapsed in the rain so a section of the parapet needed urgent repairs. We know a mason for years. He assesed the damage and procured the construction material. The scaffolding was set up on Monday morning. It immediately alerted the syndicate and they landed at the house,” recounted Sugata.
While he is enraged at the gumption of the youths to threaten an octogenarian in her very house, he is appalled at the fact they did so for such a petty amount. Or was it the scaffolding across the house a facade that led the gang to believe their was much more to bag?
Ajit Majhi, the manager of a store on Puddapukur Lane that supplied the material over which the fracas took place, is shocked. Till now, the syndicates operating in the Ballygunge-Lansdowne-Bhowanipore belt were targeting developers and major renovations, leaving small repair jobs to legitimate shops like theirs. “We used to supply construction material to Sisir Bose. Now, his son Sugata continues to buy construction material from us. The cost of repair is very low. One can’t imagine the syndicate getting involved in it,” said Majhi.