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Teacher files FIR against extortionists

Bongaigaon, Dec. 26: A schoolteacher from Chirang district has filed an FIR against two unidentified extortionists who had visited his residence demanding Rs 1.5 lakh on Tuesday evening.

Bijay Paudel, who has been teaching at Bidyakunja Lower Primary school at Malivita, 1km from his residence at Dalihal, lodged the FIR with Koilamoila police outpost, 18km from Dalihal, yesterday but has since been living in neighbouring Bongaigaon district fearing threat to his life. Police have registered a case (no.71/2013) under Sections 447 and 387 of IPC. Paudel has been a permanent teacher since 1992 with the school that was established in 1969.

Two masked youths had come to his residence with the demand but when he told them his inability to pay the ransom the duo asked him to negotiate and settle the matter soon and left his residence firing in the air, the teacher said.

According to Paudel, the extortionist duo introduced themselves as NDFB cadres of the Songbijit faction. The outfit has become very active of late in the district. Malivita falls under Sidli Assembly constituency.

There are around 8,000 Gorkha people in the constituency and 250 Gorkha families residing in the area in Chirang district and the development has created panic among members of the Gorkha community.

Around 20 schoolteachers from the community have been serving in Malivita, close to the Indo-Bhutan border and 225km from Guwahati, as Assamese-medium teachers in lower primary, Middle English and high schools.

Recently, some teachers of the area had also received extortion demands in the name of a militant group over phone. Among them, few had dared to disclose them to their community and the rest hushed up the matter out of fear, sources said.

The Assam Gorkha Sanmelan (AGS), All Assam Gorkha Student Union (AAGSU) and Nepali Sahitya Sabha, in reaction to the extortion demanded by the militants, have decided to organise a mass protest meeting at Malivita on December 31.

President of the Chirang district unit of the AGS, Om Subedi, said, “Criminals had also torched the bike of Furwa Lama, AAGSU general secretary of Sungava Anchalik unit, around 2 this morning at Deushree under Runikhata police station in Chirang district. The criminals took out the bike from Lama’s house and set it ablaze.”

Almost a month back, criminals similarly torched the bike of Jivanath Sarma, postmaster of Deushree in the district, at night. All the Gorkha organisations have condemned these acts and demanded action against the culprits.