The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Extortion slur on PCG

Guwahati, Nov. 20: Police today claimed to have found a document linking two members of the Ulfa-constituted People’s Consultative Group (PCG) to an extortion network.

The alleged signatures of PCG members Lachit Bordoloi and Dilip Patgiri were found on an extortion note seized by the police from two youths a couple of days ago.

Bordoloi said his signature had been forged. “The PCG neither needs donation nor has ever collected any money in the name of the peace process. I suspect that a group of persons is collecting money in the name of PCG,” he said.

He pointed out that the note was dated November 16, when both he and Patgiri were out of station.

“I was out of Guwahati since November 11 and returned only yesterday. Moreover, the letter pad also looks funny and fake,” he added.

He appealed to anybody who receives any such note to immediately inform the police. “A group had resorted to similar mischief by forging my signature sometime ago. I suspect the same group is involved in it again,” Bordoloi said.

The arrest of the youths on whom the extortion note was found — 30-year-old Rebot Bora and 21-year-old Pankaj Sarma — had been kept under wraps until today.

Additional superintendent of police (city) Rajen Singh said the duo was caught during routine frisking near Gauhati Commerce College on Friday. The extortion note they were carrying was found to be on PCG stationery.

Another police official said the extortion note was meant for the director of health services, D. Hojai, and the amount cited was Rs 20,000. The police recorded Bordoloi’s statement and took a specimen signature for verification. Patgiri’s signature could not be taken immediately because he is in Mussoorie.

The specimen signatures will be sent to the forensic science laboratory to match them with those on the extortion note.

“Our course of action will depend on the forensic report,” Singh said.

The document bearing Bordoloi and Patgiri’s signatures states that the money demanded of the government official would be used to do work related to the peace process in Assam.

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