In an incident that should put the Defense and security forces to utter shame, a group of Indian Army personnel has been accused of armed robbery.
As per sources of Assam Police, it was a heavily armed army group, including a lady officer of Captain Rank who carried out a robbery at the house of Poona Gogoi of in Jorhat town a week ago. During the robbery, the armed group of about 10 people tied up Gogoi’s wife, two teenaged sons and daughter with a rope, locked them up inside a room and robbed them off lakhs of cash and other valuables.
As per reports, the group had come in a Maruti gypsy and a Tata Indica respectively and was actually seen near the site of the incident by a police patrol at night before the crime was committed. When questioned, the gang had told the police team that they were Assam Rifles personnel on official duty.
Jorhat Superintendent of Police, Sanjukta Parashar(IPS) has stated to the media that the police have clear evidence of the involvement of some army personnel in the robbery and that the members of the entire group, including a lady officer, were from the intelligence and surveillance unit of the army’s 3 Corps headquarters. The 3 Corps is based at Rangapahar near Dimapur in Nagaland, about a three hour drive from Jorhat.
It is to mentioned that Police was able to get a clue about this incident by tracking the calls made from a mobile phone stolen from the robbed house. An army Jawan, Sandeep Thapa, was found making regular calls from the mobile phone. Later, the police also showed a photograph of the lady officer, who was involved in the crime to the Gogoi family who identified her as one of the robbers.
The SP has confirmed that Jorhat police has contacted the 3 Corps authorities but there was no response so far. The State Government has also been informed.
People of Northeast have witnessed the brutalities of the Armed forces in the name of controlling militancy for decade in the form of reported rapes and fake encounters and a robbery is not a big surprise that way. It just calls to remind the authorities that the Indian Army personnel are not above law and any Army personnel found involved should be strictly punished. However the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) often provides immunity to such culprits and this law needs to be really amended or withdrawn.