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Regular-article-logo Tuesday, 03 October 2023

Rise in robberies in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district

Six incidents of robbery have been reported under different police stations in the last six days

Manoj Kumar Ojha Doomdooma Published 19.02.20, 06:57 PM
A stretch of The Tinsukia Bypass road near Fatikjan.

A stretch of The Tinsukia Bypass road near Fatikjan. Picture by Manoj Kumar Ojha

Commercial establishments in Upper Assam’s Tinsukia district have expressed deep concern over the alarming increase in incidence of robbery.

The president of the National Chamber of Commerce, Tinsukia, Hiralal Sharma, told The Telegraph on Wednesday, “We wish to draw the attention of the state home department to the increasing incidence of crime in Tinsukia district. There have been many cases of robbery in the past few days. It’s not an occasional incident anymore, it’s becoming an organised crime. A gang of criminals appears to have recently become active in Tinsukia town. They stalk their targets, attack them and decamp with money and other valuables. In one case on the national highway, the robbers shot at the person they robbed. Criminals no longer fear the law.”

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He said Tinsukia, which used to be a peaceful city, has become dangerous to inhabit with the criminals becoming trigger-happy. “The situation has become so scary that a person feels safe neither on the road nor at home. This has created fear in people’s minds. We hope the government will take stringent measures to curb crime,” he added.

According to police, six incidents of robbery have been reported under different police stations of the district in the last six days. “Investigations are on,” a senior police officer said.

According to businessmen and police, many armed criminals come in the guise of customers.

A pistol with which robbers shot dead trader Om Prakash Agarwalla after looting him of Rs 2 lakh in Dibrugarh town in November last year, was recently recovered with a magazine and a live 7.65mm ammunition. On January 29, an armed guard was shot dead by a gang of dacoits when he tried to prevent them from looting an ATM.

“Where are the criminals getting pistols, magazines, ammunitions and bikes without number plates?” Arun Hazarika, a businessman, asked.

Gaura Ghosh, a businessman from Makum, said, “The home department must take urgent measures to apprehend the criminals and curb crime. It is high time the police took stringent steps to control crime in this town, which connects several link roads, highways and bypass road as well as Digboi, Margherita, Jagun, Dhola, Sadiya, Doomdooma and Panitola towns in Assam and eight districts of east Arunachal Pradesh, and make it crime-free and safe again. This area has become extremely vulnerable to crime.”

Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts of Upper Assam are two of the most important commercial hubs of the state since the British period. The people of eastern Arunachal Pradesh are also, to some extent, dependent upon these districts for their supplies.

Sharma said, “We would like to thank police for preventing pillion riders on bikes and promulgating Section 144 CrPC in Tinsukia town to control crime but we think it’s not enough. Illegal parking of vehicles and running bikes without number plates must be checked strictly. An outpost on Makum Road is also required. I appeal to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who has spent a long time here as a member of the All Assam Students’ Union (Dibrugarh and Tinsukia were then an integrated district), to look into the matter.”

Residents and civil society groups have appealed to the police to enhance patrolling on Tinsukia bypass road and the Dhola-Sadiya bridge to curb crime.

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