| (From top) The bullets recovered from the attack site, security personnel stand outside the house of Mayur Talukdar and the house at Geetanagar after the firing on Tuesday. Pictures by UB Photos
Guwahati, April 26: Business rivalry led city-based businessman Sailen Dutta Konwar to train guns on his former friend Mayur Talukdar and threaten his wife.
Konwar, along with two others, allegedly attacked the house of Talukdar with AK-47 rifles and fired indiscriminately before surrendering before police. Eyewitnesses said the three came on two motorcycles at 1.45pm, asked the gatekeeper to open the gate and when he did not, started firing at Talukdar’s house at Karbi Path under Geetanagar police station.
“They came on two bikes and asked me open the gate but sensing some problem, I did not. Before I could understand what happened, they started firing at the building. I rushed for cover out of fear,” the gatekeeper, Subhash Debnath, said.
Eyewitnesses said the three threatened Talukdar’s wife, Boby, who was in the house, with dire consequences.
“Baideo (Talukdar’s wife) rushed out to the balcony and the three threatened her,” the gatekeeper said.
Boby named Konwar as one of the persons who were on the bike and had opened fire.
No one was, however, injured in the firing.
Gunshot marks were spotted on the vehicles parked on the premises of Talukdar’s house as well as the neighbouring house belonging to Prabin Sarma, a sales tax superintendent.
Konwar later surrendered at Chandmari police station but refuted the allegation that he had fired. He was taken into custody, based on preliminary evidence about his involvement in the attack.
Senior superintendent of police (city), Dipak Choudhury, said, “Preliminary investigation points to business rivalry but we have begun a thorough probe into the incident.”
The police found 15 empty shells of bullets at the spot.
According to the police, Konwar and Talukdar, one-time business partners, share common business interests which led to a clash of interests, especially in coal dealings. They used to own an Assamese daily but separated in December last year following a business rivalry. After this, Talukdar launched another newspaper.
The police said business rivalry between the two began to surface around a year ago and stretched to such an extent that Talukdar severed his association with the joint ventures that involved Konwar.
In another incident, transporter Rabinder Singh, 42, was shot at by two bike-borne goons at Beltola at 11 last night while he was on his way home from office.
Singh, who sustained a bullet injury on his chest and was admitted to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, said one of the goons who shot at him was Omkar Singh Nalwar, a criminal who had earlier demanded Rs 50,000 from him.
“Nalwar had come to my office four months ago and demanded Rs 50,000. When I refused, he attacked me with a sharp weapon. I had lodged an FIR with Basistha police station. Last night, when I was returning home on my bike, he came from behind on a bike and shot at me,” Singh said.
Singh, who hails from Jammu, has been running a transport agency in Beltola for the last two years.
Police, who are investigating the case, said Nalwar also used to run a transport agency and business rivalry had led to the incident. “Our investigation shows that business rivalry was behind the incident. We have launched a hunt for Nalwar, who is absconding,” a police officer said.