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4 get life for youth murder

Jan. 17: Four persons were sentenced to life imprisonment today for murdering a youth after abducting him from the city in 2002.

Additional district and sessions judge, Kamrup, Hema Devi Bhuyan, convicted the accused — Manik Roy, Bharat Roy, Kaser Ali and Bablu Adhikary — for abduction and murder of Pankaj Das and sentenced them to life imprisonment (14 years) and imposed a fine of Rs 22,000 each.

They will have to undergo imprisonment for another year if they fail to pay the fine.

Pankaj, who was in his early twenties, was the son of Bhabendra Das, a deputy superintendent of Assam police.

According to the prosecution, Pankaj was abducted by a group of six persons from Survey on April 13, 2002, and taken to Gauripur in Dhubri district.

The case was registered at Dispur police station on the basis of a written complaint filed the victim’s family.

Two of the six accused involved in the crime, identified as Samsul Haque and Shahjahan Ali, were absconding.

Additional public prosecutor Bhaskar Jyoti Dutta said after abducting Das, the accused detained him at the house of Bharat Roy at Gauripur till April 14 morning.

“From Gauripur the abductors shifted him to Belguri, where he was strangled him to death and dumped his body into the Gangadhar river,” Dutta said.

The body of the victim was never found.

He said the six plotted the abduction in a bid to extort money from Pankaj’s father.

As part of their plan, Manik Roy first befriended Pankaj, who had received an interview call after passing the written test for the combined civil service examination conducted by the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC), and kept a close watch on his movements for a few days before abducting him.

The abductors later decided to kill him in order to wipe out the evidence. A total of 34 prosecution witnesses were examined to bring home the charges against the accused.

The public prosecutor said the accused were convicted under Sections 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or providing false information to screen offenders), 302 (murder) and 385 (putting person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion) of IPC.