Top Assam cops arrested amid allegations of extortion and threats by businessmen, raising concerns over police misconduct.
Nine individuals, including three senior police officers, have been arrested in Assam’s Bajali district following allegations made by a businessman, Rabiul Islam. Islam claimed that he was illegally detained and coerced into paying ₹5 crore, under the threat of a staged “encounter” and false accusations of having ties to jihadi elements from Pakistan and Bangladesh.
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Assam Police Arrests Officers
In his complaint, Islam stated that a person identifying as an encounter specialist issued these threats. The arrested individuals include Siddhartha Buragohan, former Bajali police superintendent; Pushkal Gogoi, deputy police superintendent; Gayatri Sonowal, additional police superintendent; Subhas Chander, Gayatri Sonowal’s husband; Debajit Giri, sub-inspector; Injamamul Hassan, constable; Kishore Baruah; Nabir Ahmed, a police driver; and Dipjoy Kalita, another police driver.
Assam’s police chief, G P Singh, mentioned that an FIR was filed on August 31 based on Islam’s complaint, which was considered prima facie valid. The accused have been charged with multiple offences, including attempt to murder, extortion, criminal intimidation, wrongful confinement, and criminal conspiracy.
Businessman Alleges Police Assault
According to Islam’s account, the incident began on July 16 when police forcibly entered his home, questioning him about drugs and money he had no knowledge of. He alleged that he was physically assaulted, his house was searched without a warrant, and his belongings were confiscated. Islam claimed that he and his relatives were taken to a police station, and he was later interrogated and assaulted at Buragohan’s residence. He stated that he was threatened, forced to accept false links to jihadi elements, and coerced into paying a significant sum of money.
Businessman Forced to Pay Extortion
The businessman recounted being taken to a factory where he was told to run and threatened with being shot. He claimed that he paid ₹10 lakh in cash and issued 21 cheques worth ₹10 lakh each. Despite making this payment, Islam said he was not released until he paid an additional ₹2.5 crore, with the threat of an encounter hanging over him.
The criminal investigation department is conducting a thorough investigation, and additional charges may be added as the case progresses. Authorities have also searched the residences of the arrested individuals, with some homes being sealed.
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