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Politician rues inaction

Bongaigaon, June 15: Bongaigaon zila parishad member Nousad Ali, 55, today accused police of not acting on three FIRs filed by him since April 10 against unknown goons who have been repeatedly threatening him and his family over phone.

Ali, an AIUDF member elected to the zila parishad from Jogighopa constituency, said the police had so far failed to identify the callers and initiate action against them.

He said he suspected the hand of “some patrons of the coal syndicate” behind the calls, who were allegedly unhappy with an initiative he took in March to get the wages of labourers, who load coal at Jogighopa, hiked. He said coal traders used to pay Rs 4,000 to labourers for loading a wagon, which he got hiked to Rs 5,000 in March, irking many.

Ali also hinted at the involvement of a Congress legislator but refused to name him.

Jogighopa, around 30km from here, is a coal business hub where the mineral coming from neighbouring Meghalaya is loaded on rail rakes for transportation out of the region.

On April 10, Ali had lodged the first FIR at Jogighopa police station after receiving a call from an unknown number informing him that a bomb had been planted in front of his house at Sedamari, about 5km from Jogighopa.

“When I got the call I was in Delhi for some personal work. I immediately talked to my family members and called up the police here. The police reached the spot and defused the crude bomb. Losing no time, I flew back home and lodged the FIR around 5.30pm the same day,” Ali said.

The police registered a case (No. 92/2013) under Section 4 of Explosive Substances Act on the basis of the FIR. Ali was also provided two personal security guards.

The caller, however, continued making threat calls from different mobile numbers and recently demanded Rs 5 lakh.

Ali said he had received around 150 threat calls from different mobile numbers in the past two months but the police had failed to track the callers and identify them. He lodged two more FIRs on April 20 and May 26, seeking police action.

“I appeal to the administration to ensure safety and security of my family. As a citizen, I have every right to get protection,” he said.

The officer-in-charge of Jogighopa police station, Jitesh Barman, told this correspondent that they had already identified three persons.

“The accused are known dacoits of Kalgachia and Moinbhari in Barpeta and Lakkhipur in Goalpara district. We are trying to arrest them,” he said.