GUWAHATI: A 58-year-old man in Tripura has been re-arrested for stealing a goat 41 years ago.
Bachu Kaul was re-arrested by cops at the Budhjung Nagar Police Station on Friday evening from the Mekhlipara Tea Estate in West Tripura district and produced in a local court which sent him to judicial custody.
Back in 1978, Bachu and his father, Mohana Kaul, had stolen the goat of one Kumud Ranjan Bhowmick of Nandan Nagar in the district and later, they were sent to jail. They walked to freedom soon after on being granted bail.
The 41-year-old case suddenly came to light after the Tripura High Court had prodded the state government for speedy disposal of pending cases.
The Budhjung Nagar Police Station learnt about the case of Bachu and his father while searching for records of old cases, falling under its jurisdiction, in a local court.
“Bachu worked as a domestic help at the house of Kumud Ranjan Bhowmick who is now aged 86. His father Mohana Kaul was a labourer at the Adarani Tea Estate. One night, Bachu, then a teenager, and his father had stolen a goat from Bhowmick’s house. The next day, they were caught red-handed when they went to Ranir Bazar market to sell off the goat,” officer-in-charge of Budhjung Nagar Police Station, Sukanta Sen Choudhury, told this Express.
He said he came upon the case details on September 12 in a local court while searching for records of pending cases.
“There is tremendous pressure on us as the Tripura High Court has ordered early disposal of the pending old cases. We went to the house of the complainant. He forgot the case but his wife narrated it."
"Subsequently, we visited the Adarani Tea Estate and got an address of the accused persons. A man said Mohana Kaul died long ago but Bachu works in the Mekhlipara Tea Estate. We visited the place and saw him. He admitted to having stolen the goat. We then re-arrested him. He was shocked to have been re-arrested in the case after such a long time,” the police officer said.
He said a trial will take place now. It was mentioned in the case record that the goat was priced Rs.45 in 1978, Choudhury said.
“As it is a very old case which was not disposed of for reasons that I don’t know, I had to struggle to read the papers as they have worn out,” he added.