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Featured Image: Amra Akranto’s prof Ambikesh Mahapatra, and Pratima Dutta in file photographs. 

By A Newsman

Howrah, 12 August: POLICE have arrested Pratima Dutta, who moved the Calcutta High Court for a CBI probe into the 2011 murder of her husband Tapan Dutta of Bali in Howrah for opposing filling-up of a water-body in the area.

Several Trinamool leaders, including state co-operation minister Arup Roy, are accused in the case. The HC is yet to decide on the plea for a CBI probe, but had in April this year turned down Howrah District Court’s acquittal of the accused and had order a fresh trial.

Pratima was arrested from her residence at Bali this morning by a team from Nischinda police station on charges of giving life threats to local cable TV operator Ashit Bikash Dutta and also stealing his cables. Pratima’s family is an old cable TV operator in the area and she allegedly did so to scare away the new entrant Ashit.

“A large posse of police came to our house this morning and took away my mother. It is true that we had a discord with some promoters-turned new cable operators a few months ago, but the allegations of threat and theft are completely baseless. The arrest is because the HC has ordered a speedy trial of the murder of my father,” Pratima’s eldest daughter Priyanka said.

She pointed out that her mother having contested the last Assembly polls against Trinamool minister Raib Banerjee was another reason for the harassment being meted out to her mother.

On the basis of the allegations by Ashit Bikash Dutta, Nischinda police station had registered a non-bailable FIR against Pratima. In view of this, she appealed the Howrah District Court for an anticipatory bail. The court rejected the plea yesterday and issued a warrant against her.

Armed with the warrant, police arrested the lady, in her late 50’s, today morning. She has been produced in the district court now.

Civil society pressure group Amra Akranta, on behalf of whom Pratima had contested the Assembly polls as candidate backed by the Left and the Congress, has condemned her arrest. They have gathered at the court for a demonstration.