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HC order on Jorhat robbery probe

Jorhat, Nov. 23: Gauhati High Court today ordered both police and army to wind up their respective investigations into a robbery at the residence of businessman Poona Gogoi here last year, allegedly involving some army personnel, by January 21 next year.

On November 16, the court had directed Jorhat police to proceed in its investigations against 11 others allegedly involved in the incident.

It also asked the victimís family to depose at Jorhat police station for the army court of inquiry.

Poona Gogoi, in whose residence the dacoity took place on December 21 last year, appealed to the high court seeking justice and demanded that the army return the valuables taken away from his house.

While admitting the case on May 18 this year, the court had directed armyís 3 Corps headquarters to file an affidavit detailing the dacoity case in Jorhat.

Gogoi has also moved the National Human Rights Commission stating that his family members were traumatised and had been living in fear since the incident.

The commission has sought a detailed report on the involvement of a group of army personnel from the 3 Corps headquarters.

Investigation into the December 21 robbery had revealed that a heavily armed group, including a woman army officer, broke into the house of Gogoi, a contractor with the military engineering services.

They had tied up his wife and children and decamped with Rs 1.5 lakh in cash, gold ornaments, three mobile phones and Gogoiís .32 licensed pistol.

The police got a hint of the armyís involvement through one of the phones that the gang had snatched from the house.

An army jawan, havildar Sandeep Thapa, had been making regular calls from that mobile phone to his home in Himachal Pradesh.

The police registered a dacoity case (No 922/2011, under Sections 395/397 IPC) and had interrogated several army personnel allegedly involved in the case.

The army, admitting the involvement of its personnel, said an operation was carried out, based on intelligence inputs, at Gogoiís residence, but the operation did not go according to norms.

Court martial proceedings against four army personnel ó Capt. Rubina Kaur Keer, havildar Bhupen Hatimota, havildar Sandeep Thapa and sepoy Jibon Neog ó are on.

The army tried to shift the case from the civil court to the army court but had to shelve the idea following an objection raised by the petitioner, citing security reasons.

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