TURA, Sept 9 - Dacoit gangs have been quite active near the Assam-Meghalaya border areas, with many of them proving to be a major headache for security forces, as sometimes jurisdiction and coordination opens up a window for the criminals to escape.
It becomes a major accomplishment when such gangs are busted and their masterminds face the wrath of the law. Meghalaya Police had such an opportunity in the past few days, after a gang of dacoits was arrested and sent to Assam to face the law.
The gang came into focus after an attempted kidnapping on August 22.
According to police sources, a vehicle (ML-07-A-3027) along with its driver Rafikul Islam of Rangjuli in Goalpara, Assam, was hired by four unidentified persons to take them from Dudhnoi in Assam to Phulbari in Meghalaya. However, before reaching Phulbari, Islam was taken into the Gaptuli Reserve and held there for ransom.
“When we received information from Assam Police on August 23, we immediately launched a rescue operation and due to persistent efforts against the dacoits, the victim was eventually released unharmed without ransom being paid,” said West Garo Hills Superintendent of Police Dr MGR Kumar.
On September 3, police arrested one Anowar Hossain (21) of Bholarbitha under Phulbari PS in a joint operation with Assam Police. He was caught from Chibinang Bazaar. On being questioned, he revealed the names of the other members of the gang who escaped. Anowar named two groups of brothers – Saiful and Sakrul Islam, and Lutfur and Muktadar Hussain – as being part of the gang. Police also managed to arrest two masterminds – Akhirul Islam and Akhidur Mondal.
Three countrymade guns recovered from a pond in Bholarbitha were apparently used in the attempted kidnapping and ransom case. This was revealed by police after continued interrogation of Anowar Hossain led officials to the pond where the weapons were hidden. 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 also admitted that the same weapons were used in the Tikrikilla and Bongaigoan PS abduction cases.
Akhirul 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.
While Akhirul and Akhidur are still in Meghalaya Police custody, Anowar has been handed over to Assam Police along with the weapons, said the SP.
Police said that all three, along with the rest of their gang, are wanted in several cases in both states and Akhirul and Akhidur would also be handed over to Assam Police for further interrogation.