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TURA | Sept 08, 2019:

The movement of dacoit gangs across the border villages of Meghalaya and Assam has become a common feature, with many of them gaining notoriety of gargantuan proportions.

These gangs have proved a major headache for security forces as sometimes jurisdiction, at other times coordination allows a window of escape for the criminals.

It however becomes a major accomplishment when such gangs are uprooted and their masterminds face the wrath of the law. Meghalaya police had such an opportunity the past few days – after a gang of dacoits were arrested and sent to Assam to face the law.

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The gang came into focus after an attempted kidnapping that took place on Aug 22 this year.

According to police sources, a vehicle (ML07 – A3027) along with the driver Rafikul Ilsam (of Rangjuli, Goalpara in Assam) were hired by 4 unidentified persons to ferry them from Dudhnoi in Assam to Phulbari in Meghalaya.

Before reaching Phulbari however, Islam was taken into the Gaptuli Reserve and held there for ransom.

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“When we received the information from Assam police on Aug 23, we immediately launched a rescue operation and due to persistent efforts and operations on the dacoits, the victim was eventually released unharmed without ransom being paid,” said WGH superintendent of police, Dr MGR Kumar.

On Sep 3, the police arrested one Anowar Hossain (21) of Bholarbitha under Phulbari PS in a joint operation with Assam police. He was caught from the Chibinang Bazaar. Upon being questioned, he revealed the names of the other members of the gang who were able to escape earlier.

Anowar named two groups of brothers, Saiful and Sakrul Islam and Lutfur and Muktadar Hussain as being part of the criminal gang. This was after police also managed to arrest two of the masterminds of the gang namely Akhirul Islam and Akhidur Mondal.

Akhidur and Akhirul were arrested last week after continued operations to find the gang behind the kidnapping attempt on the driver from Assam.

Interestingly, the three country made guns recovered two days ago from the riverine pond in Bholarbitha were the weapons used in the attempted kidnap and ransom case. This was revealed by the police after continued interrogation of Anowar Hossain led the police to the pond where the weapons were hidden. The guns, though country made had functioning triggers, barrels and a firing pins.

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Furthermore, Akhirul Islam, one of the masterminds arrested in a dacoity case under Tikrikilla PS also identified the weapons as those used by the gang. He further admitted that the same weapons were used in the Tikrikilla and Bongaigoan PS abduction cases earlier.

Akhirul further revealed that the weapons belonged to one Sofikul (Kosai) a resident of Nolbari under Phulbari PS. Sofikul is wanted in several cases of dacoity and abduction along the Assam – Meghalaya border.

“We have arrested 3 members of the gang, namely Akhidur Mondal of Charbatapara under Phulbari PS, Akhirul Islam (Jamai, Baikho) of Chattapara in Dhubri – Assam and Anowar Hossain. While Akhirul and Akhidur are still in Meghalaya police custody, Anowar has been handed over to Assam police along with the recovered weapons,” said the SP.

Police confirmed that all 3, along with the rest of their gang are wanted in several cases in both states and the Akhirul and Akhidur would also be handed over to Assam police for further interrogation.

“We are making all efforts to arrest the other members of the gang as soon as possible,” stated Dr Kumar.

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