Jorhat, Dec. 27: The army personnel from Dimapur who robbed the house of a Jorhat businessman last Tuesday had links with an inter-state gang of car-lifters who probably instigated the raid.
Jorhat superintendent of police Sanjukta Parasor told The Telegraph today that it was almost certain that a local car-lifter, Nirmal Gogoi, alias Lal, was part of the group which broke into the house of Poona Gogoi, a contractor with military engineering services, at Rowriah on the outskirts of Jorhat on December 21.
Nirmal hails from the Jamuguri near Rowriah.
“It was Nirmal who probably brought the group of army men from Nagaland to raid the house of Poona Gogoi. Things would come to light only after the arrest of Nirmal or the group of army personnel involved in the crime,” she said.
Investigation into the robbery case revealed that the heavily armed group, including a lady, were from the Rangapahar-based 3 Corps headquarters near Dimapur in Nagaland.
They came in two vehicles, tied up Poona Gogoi’s wife, two teenaged sons and daughter, locked them up inside a room and decamped with Rs 1.5 lakh in cash, other valuables, including three mobile phones and a .32 licensed pistol owned by the businessman, who was not at home at the time of the robbery.
The police got a hint of the army’s involvement through a phone that the gang had snatched from the house.
An army jawan, havildar Sandeep Thapa, has been making regular calls from the mobile phone to his home in Himachal Pradesh.
Poona Gogoi told The Telegraph today that there was no doubt that Nirmal and another car-lifter, Gunen Gogoi, was part of the team which looted his house.
“My children and wife have identified the two dacoits since they hail from this area and have seen them earlier,” Poona Gogoi said.
He and the members of Nabajyoti Yuba Sangh, a local socio-cultural organisation of which he is the secretary, had asked Nirmal several times to leave Rowriah as he had brought a bad name to the locality.
“He had probably come to take revenge. Had I been at home that night, I would have been killed,” he said.
Regarding the involvement of army personnel, Poona Gogoi said he had no clue in this regard, but his children and wife identified havildar Sandeep Thapa, whose photograph was shown on television last night, as one of the gang members.
“I am engaged with contractual jobs with MES and Air Force since 2003 but have never worked out of Jorhat district. I don’t know why an army team from Dimapur had come to raid my house,” he said.
Poona Gogoi said the gang had asked for identity cards of his sons, who are college students. “The gang probably did not come solely to rob my house, otherwise why would they asked for my son’s identity cards?”
The Jorhat police have filed a petition before the sub-divisional judicial magistrate to issue warrants against the army personnel involved in the robbery. The SP said there was no option left but to file a petition before the court since there was no response from the army despite repeated attempts.