KOLKATA: For a change, the Malda Police had to search for a missing man who became a crorepati overnight courtesy a bumper lottery prize. Soon after Asim Samaddar, the son of a poor farmer, won the first prize worth Rs 1 crore, he went underground fearing abduction. His family lodged a missing diary, mentioning that Asim is yet to get the money credited to his bank account.
Policemen of Habibpur police station interrogated all local lottery vendors for clues but to no avail. “We then started finding out sub-agents who procured lottery tickets from prominent vendors in Habibpur market. The first lead came from one of the sub-agents. He told us that one of the buyers contacted him and confirmed the number of a particular lottery ticket which bagged the first prize,’’ said a police officer.
Armed with the number of the caller, the police began an electronic surveillance. “We tracked the location of the towers from where Asim’s cell phone was receiving signals. On Monday late evening, we traced his location to a remote pocket of an area. We searched the place and managed to find him,’’ said the officer.
On interrogation, Asim, in his mid-30s, who works as a farm labourer, told the police that he had bought a lottery from a local sub-agent two days ago. “I went to a newspaper stall to check whether the number of my lottery ticket matched with the series of prize winners. I could not believe my luck. I contacted the person from whom I had purchased it. He, too, confirmed the number,’’ he told the police.
An anxious Asim left his home early in the morning leaving a note behind for his parents, the police said. “His poor parents came to know from Asim’s note that he became a crorepati. In the note, Asim wrote that he was leaving home as he feared abduction,’’ said the police officer.Sources in the Malda police said Asim revealed that he feared abduction by a section of those people whose names had emerged during the ‘cut money’ protests.
Fear of locals, and political leaders
Asim comes from an area in Malda which had seen massive protests over cut money. Trinamool leaders were alleged to have taken money from the poor for availing govt benefits. The labourer feared that the locals and the ruling Trinamool leaders would make him a target for his new-found wealth.