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Colleague suspect in Pathak murder

Guwahati/Kokrajhar, June 3: The CID is probing the possible role of an assistant executive engineer of agriculture department Faizur Islam, in the murder of his senior colleague Gadapani Pathak.

A CID officer said Pathak, who was a superintending engineer of the department, was reportedly inquiring into alleged corruption in implementation of a scheme in Dhubri district and Faizur Islam was an accused in the case.

“There were allegations of corruption against Islam and Pathak was inquiring into it,” the officer said, hinting at the possibility of the Islam’s involvement in the murder.

On May 19, 2011, the then director of agriculture department A Deori, had issued an official order entrusting Pathak to conduct an inquiry into allegations of graft against Faizur Islam.

“Moreover, Islam is also making contradictory statements and we suspect he might be trying to mislead us,” the officer said. However, Islam has not been arrested by CID, as they are yet to find clinching evidence of his involvement in the crime.

Islam and Pathak were travelling in a Bolero when unidentified men stopped the vehicle on NH37 near Boitamari in Bongaigaon district on May 2 and allegedly abducted the duo, leaving behind the driver Noor Islam Ahmed. Pathak’s bullet-riddled body was recovered next day while abductors released Islam on May 27.

“Following interrogation of the driver and Islam, we have serious doubts whether the abduction had taken place or not. The investigating officials have found variations in versions given by Islam and the driver regarding the incident,” a source said.

Though the CID is yet to arrive at a final conclusion, they suspect a powerful group comprising contractors, officers of agriculture department and politicians may have masterminded Pathak’s murder, in a bid to cover up corruption in the department.

In a separate incident, a rural health practitioner, Prodyumna Ray, posted at Satyapur health centre in Gossaigaon sub-division of Kokrajhar district, has been allegedly abducted.

Ray, in his early 20s, was returning home from the centre on June 1, when he went missing. An FIR has been filed with Gossaigaon police.

Family sources said his mobile went off around 2pm the same day. A missed call came to his father last evening from one of the two mobile phones that belong to Ray.

There are 18 rural health practitioners in the district, who are posted at various health centres in remote areas.

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