By Zubair Ahmed

Though the town is sleepy and obscure, politicians of Kadamtala are fully loaded and charged. Sampath Kumar Roy, the iniquitous Pradhan who was arrested in a Jarawa misadventure case is a classic example how one doesn’t want to learn a lesson from one mistake that he did.

As soon as we landed at Uttara Jetty, went inside one of that Vishwakannan type eco-friendly huts at the Jetty extended into the Bay to cool ourselves after covering the dusty, pot-holed and hot Baratang National Highway.

In no time, the Pradhan came with a guy, who later introduced himself as an Engineer from Dilli, representing some consultancy engaged in a survey for upgradation of ATR into two-lane NH Highway with two bridges. Obviously, there was an air of haughtiness written all over the face of the Pradhan, whom we very conveniently ignored.

We couldn't make out why he was there or why he brought the engineer. Anyways, after sometime we left for our destination, as there was hardly any time to waste. Meanwhile, we just forgot about the Pradhan and concentrated on our work.

In the evening, after a tiring day, when we planned to move to Rangat for stay, we had no clue that Rangat was no more a small town. Rooms were not available for less than Rs 2000/- a night. Tourism is paying, and its really cool. Finally, with the help of a great friend, checked into Ross suite in Hotel Avis. Don't ask what all that mean.

In no time, I took bath, changed into same clothes and was waiting for Denis to come out from bathroom to go and have dinner. When Denis came out of the bathroom with towel wrapped, suddenly there was a knock on the door.

Was wondering who might be there for us. And it was no surprise. Sampath Kumar Roy barged into the room with another airy guy, who looked like a contractor, not interested in anything Sampath wanted to say to us. Denis was shocked as he was just changing. Sampath did not care and just went and sat on the bed, where Denis was standing. Denis could not stand it. He politely asked him to go and sit on the chair.

The contractor guy seemed dry and wry, uninterested why Sampath had tagged him and gulped a bottle of water kept on the table.

"I know you people dodged me in the morning. You know, I was with an important person, engineer from Dilli, who will build the bridge for us," he started.

Politely, we apologized saying, we were quite busy with some other work.

"You did wrong by writing against me in the Jarawa episode. The Magistrate is a very tough guy asking very tough questions," he said. "Actually, I wanted to file a big case against you guys," he continued in a threatening tone.

"You people don't know anything. I know, wild boar meat goes from Kadamtala to Raj Niwas and Tribal Welfare, and you guys think you know everything," he said with a wry smile and looked at his disinterested contractor friend, who did not even acknowledge, and made a dead face.

"Fine, Its news to us. We will surely carry it and write that Sampath Kumar Roy, Pradhan Kadamatala told the newspaper that wild boar meat is sent by Tribal Welfare guys from Kadamtala to Raj Niwas and Secretariat," I told him adding that the same way one day, you got the Jarawas call an editor and break a story about the poverty and hunger they are facing.

"No, no, no.... how can you write like that, you cannot write my name," he said.

I asked him, "Why?"

"You have to enquire and investigate it," he said with some kind of authority.

"Come on, a responsible elected Pradhan of a Panchayat is giving us some very hot news, and why should we not believe him?" I asked.

He mellowed down and in a very soft tone said, “Look, I am a very honest person and I don’t mean anything, and you know, I earn my livelihood through extra work, and I don't take a cut from the Panchayat fund."

"Why don’t you cover how my Panchayat did the best during the Swachcha Bharat Campaign in Middle Andaman. You know, I myself cleaned the toilet of the school. You please cover it in your newspaper," he said with pride.

 “Sure, it needs to be covered. Please send us the details by mail,” I told him.

 “Email? From Kadamtala? He seemed perplexed.

 “Ok, Ok, I can understand. But don’t lose hope. One day the undersea cable project will reach Kadamtala too. Till, then we will wait for your fax.” I made him feel comfortable.

He just got up, shook hands with both of us and left in a hurry. Morning he came with an Engineer and evening with a  Contractor. I don’t know what that really mean.

However, we were kept wondering how he came to know that we were staying at that particular hotel, which is in a by lane with many bars with very unique names like Ok Bar and Tata Bar.