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11 from Bengal held in Arunachal Pradesh

Arrested persons face charges of collecting donations to build an ashram in Malda district that doesn’t have any official record
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Umanand Jaiswal   |   Guwahati   |   Published 21.09.22, 12:59 AM

Eleven persons from Bengal were arrested recently in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh for allegedly collecting donations to build an ashram in Bengal’s Malda district that doesn’t have any official record.

Ten of those arrested on September 7 were from the Malda district and the other person was from the South Dinajpur district. They were released on bail by the CJM court, Bomdila, on September 8.

They were in the age group of 25 and 52 and were “roaming suspiciously” in the Bomdila market area in the West Kameng district, prompting police to search their hotel room and belongings.

Bomdila is the headquarters of the West Kameng district and one of the important tourist destinations in the frontier state.

“The group informed us during questioning they were here to collect donations for the construction of Radha Krishna Ashram in Malda. They had bill books with them and had collected donations from many persons in Bomdila,” West Kameng SP Bharat Reddy told The Telegraph on Monday.

The group also informed the police that they visited Itanagar, Pasighat and other places in Arunachal Pradesh in the past few months and collected donations.

The Bomdila police then got in touch with Malda police to verify the claim of the detained group but it was revealed by the officer-in-charge of Chanchal police station in Malda “that no such ashram was being constructed and that it is a modus operandi of this group to collect money for wrongful gain through cheating in the name of temple or ashram construction”.

They were arrested under IPC sections dealing with cheating and criminal conspiracy after their bluff was called by the Malda police.

“There was no record of any ashram. We have urged the public not to donate to anybody without proper verification,” Reddy said.

“A cursory search of their mobile phones revealed they had made deposits and transfers of about Rs 3 lakh in the month of April. We also seized from their possession 180 fake bill books of 50 leaves each, Rs 70,259 in cash and 11 mobile phones. The investigation is on,” he said.



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