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Gunjan’s family gets extortion letters

Jorhat, Feb. 24: Police have tightened security around the house of Gunjan Sharma, 13, at Simaluguri in Sivasagar district after the family of the brave girl received two extortion-cum-threat letters allegedly from the kidnapper with whom Gunjan voluntarily went as a hostage to save 10 schoolchildren on December 3.

Police sources said patrol had been intensified in areas near Gunjan’s house. Sources said as Gunjan’s house is near Simaluguri station, it is not much of a problem. They said the area being “an important and busy one”, there is adequate police presence all the time. A close watch is, however, being maintained by the police.

The police have registered a case against Biman Bora, the abductor, who is lodged in Sivasagar district jail on charges of carjacking a school van carrying 11 students at gunpoint and later kidnapping Gunjan and reportedly abandoning her in the forest along the Assam-Nagaland border.

A case (19/14) under Sections 387 (Putting person in fear of death or of grievous hurt, in order to commit extortion) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC have been registered at Simaluguri police station after Gunjan’s family members lodged an FIR.

Sources said on February 15 and 19, two letters allegedly written (in Assamese) by Bora to Gunjan’s father Shankar Sharma were found at the family’s grocery shop. Sources said the first letter was found on February 15 inside a sack of potatoes.

The letter reportedly asked Rs 2 lakh to be given to the kidnapper’s (Bora) family failing which it threatened to kill all family members of Gunjan, including her grandparents. Two mobile phone numbers were written to contact for delivery of the amount.

Shankar reached home on February 15 after undergoing treatment for about a month-and-a-half at Guwahati after Gunjan and five others of the family suffered serious injuries in a car accident on January 1 near Kaziranga National Park.

The family was on their way to Guwahati to receive state bravery award from chief minister Tarun Gogoi for her “courageous act”. Gunjan, her mother and sister are now staying at a relative’s place after being released recently from a hospital.

As the girl’s family informed the police, another letter (written in Assamese) was dropped at the grocery shop by a mentally unstable woman who roams around in Simaluguri.

The woman’s son is lodged in Sivasagar jail on charges of possessing ganja and she has reportedly told the police that “someone” gave the letter to her in the court where she had gone to see her son.

The second letter threatened Gunjan’s family with dire consequences if Bora’s son, appearing in the ongoing HSLC examination, failed and also demanded Rs 2 lakh for his family.

The police are investigating whether the letters were written by Bora. In that case there is a possibility that he wrote the letters from inside the jail or told somebody to write the letters.

The police are seeking permission from the court to interrogate Bora in this regard. Sivasagar superintendent of police Bijoy Kuligam said an investigation was on and steps had taken to provide security to Gunjan’s family.