Policing is in a state of serious mess in Jorhat and taking advantage of the callousness, criminals perhaps juveniles engaged two ordinary persons in two different incidents of firing within an interval of one hour, one at Bagdhora under Cinnamara Police Station and another at Bhatemora village under Pulibor Police Station on the night of 19 October. While one person was admitted to the JMCH with bullet injuries the other had a miraculous escape by running for safety.
The first incident was reported from the Bagdhora area of Jorhat where Malchand Prajapat, accountant of M/S Bohenimaan Bought Leaf Factory was shot at by an unidentified teenager wearing a helmet. The teenager perhaps an unskilled shooter walked into the factory at around 9:45 PM when most of the staff of the factory were busy in Diwali celebrations. The helmet worn teenager demanded cash from the accountant. Upon refusal, the teenager pulled out a pistol and opened fire hitting Prajapat in the back and fled the scene. Later the police confirmed about the bullet to be of a .32 pistol.
Immediately after 1 hour of the incident another person identified as Sunil Sahu was fired upon by one Amlan Jyoti Bora in Bhatemora village under Pulibor Outpost when the former objected to the latter nuisance at a public place. Amlan – a drug addict and a known criminal with police records of being arrested as juvenile for petty crimes missed Sunil with the first shot then tried to pull the trigger for the second time but villagers who had assembled after hearing the gunshot overpowered Amlan and the ensuing scuffle that followed gave Sunil a dramatic chance to flee the spot and later reported the matter to the police.
However, OC Pulibor accepted the FIR of Sunil Sahu only after 14 hours of the incident. It must be noted that the Pulibor area of Jorhat has of late become a hub of criminals and gun runners. It is alleged that the OC who has been occupying the chair for more than 4 years at a row with a minor transfer during last elections has failed to bring criminals to book. As attributed by locals of the area on condition of anonymity, the OC is alleged to have been using many teenage criminals as the source (informers) which has boosted the criminals willpower to commit crime at ease and at will. Notably, juveniles and criminals operating under Pulibor PS are from well to do family and with the sound financial background. Amlan’s father is an ONGC employee. Later during the evening Amlan’s accomplice, another juvenile (name withheld) is said to have been apprehended and an investigation is on to nab Amlan.
Meanwhile, much resentment is being seen among the people of Jorhat who have just recuperate from Diwali celebrations and are openly criticising the police for an ineffective security network. Policing is at its worst in Jorhat and police officers like the OC Jorhat Police Station Pradip Kalita and many others have been busy in the collection of cash and firecrackers from businessman’s to the tune of 50 thousand per shop. Police sources have also informed that on the night of 19 October that shocked Jorhat with two major shootouts, both the OC Jorhat Sadar Police Station and the Addl SP (HQ) kept away from the PO site and were miles away from overseeing the investigation. However, Superintendent of Police Prasanta Bhuyan reached the Cinnamora Police station at 2 AM the same night and is believed to be overlooking investigation in a bid to nab the culprits early.
Aamir Hazarika served as Staff Reporter in Times of Assam. Hazarika is an investigative Journalist for more than a decade.