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Double whammy for Sivasagar top cop

Guwahati, Sept. 13: Sivasagar superintendent of police Akhilesh Kumar Singh has landed in double trouble.

While the Assam Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has ordered an inquiry into allegations that Singh had threatened former transport minister Anjan Dutta for being vocal against oil pilferage, Nazira MLA Debabrata Saikia has formally accused the police official of breaching the privileges of members of the Assam Assembly by furnishing false information to the House.

Dutta had raised the issue of oil pilferage in Upper Assam, including Sivasagar district, in the last Assembly session, alleging involvement of top police officials in the racket.

Oil pilferage is one of the most widespread and lucrative illegal trades in Upper Assam.

According to Dutta, the Congress MLA from Amguri constituency, he may have incurred the wrath of Singh for being vocal against the illegal trade.

Dutta said the superintendent of police had even threatened to implicate him in an old case.

Taking suo motu cognisance of Singh’s alleged intimidation, the AHRC said it was a serious matter if a senior police official had threatened a people’s representative from raising an issue of public importance in the Assembly.

A full bench of the commission, comprising chairperson Justice Aftab H. Saikia and members Jyoti Prasad Chaliha and Tarun Phookan, passed an order yesterday directing director-general of police Jayanto Narayan Choudhury to conduct an inquiry into Dutta’s allegations. The probe is to be conducted by an officer not below the rank of additional director-general of police and the report submitted to the commission within four weeks of receipt of the notice.

Nazira MLA Debabrata Saikia, on the other hand, has said in his complaint that in the information furnished by Singh to an unstarred question by BJP legislator Prasanta Phukan on March 5 on allotment of security to MLAs, MPs and ministers, the police department had said he had received a house guard.

When Saikia took up the case with Singh, the police official replied (vide memo no. R/SVR/2012/9321 dated August 6, 2012) that the house guard allotted to Hemo Prova Saikia was also to be extended to him.

“However, on examination of the command certificate of the house guards issued by Sivasagar police, it was found that no such order was issued to the house guards,” Saikia stated in his letter to the Speaker. Sources said Saikia had submitted his letter to principal secretary of the Assam Assembly G.P. Das and deputy speaker Bhimananda Tanti this morning.

Though Das denied any knowledge of the letter, Tanti confirmed receiving a file from Saikia.

In his letter, Saikia also mentioned a Rs 30lakh extortion demand issued to him through a text message by the Ulfa on August 25, the threat perception to him and how the police official had allegedly compelled him to go public with the demand on September 9.

Saikia, son of former chief minister Hiteswar Saikia and Hemo Prova Saikia, who has seen five relatives being slain by the Ulfa in the past, is worried about the development.

Singh only told The Telegraph that he was acting on a complaint lodged by Dutta against one of his officers. “I thought it proper to call him to my office to expedite the process. I have nothing more to add as everything else is media’s creation.”

He said he was not aware of Saikia’s complaint.


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