The Assam Crime Investigation Department has arrested nine persons, including a former superintendent of police and five other policemen, after a businessman alleged that they were trying to extort money from him, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday.
Businessman Rabiul Islam alleged that the police in Bajali district wrongfully detained him and told him to pay Rs 2.5 crore. The police threatened to kill him in an “encounter” and justify his killing by accusing him of having “links with Pakistani and Bangladeshi jihadi elements”, Islam alleged in his complaint.
Director General of Police GP Singh said that the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption were told to lay a trap to catch the accused persons. However, they reportedly could not succeed as “the police officers [accused] were careful”.
The police, however, registered a first information report as the allegations appeared to be true, Singh said.
The FIR named former Bajali Superintendent of Police Siddharth Buragohain, Additional Superintendent of Police Gayatri Sonowal, Deputy Superintendent of Police Pushkal Gogoi, the officer in charge of Patacharkuchi police station Arnab Jyoti Patir, inspector in charge of the Bhabanipur outpost Debojit Giri and Assistant Sub-Inspector Sasanka Das.
Buragohain is currently posted at the Assam Police headquarters.
The FIR stated that on the night of July 16, a group of policemen forcibly entered Islam’s home, dragged him out, and asked him about “drugs and cash”. When the businessman told them he did not know what they were referring to, they beat him up for two to three hours.
Islam alleged that the police illegally detained him and two of his relatives at the Bhabanipur police station. He said that he was forced to pay Rs 10 lakh to the officials as they threatened to kill him and then accuse him of links to terrorism.
However, Islam said that he was not released even after paying Rs 10 lakh and that Additional Superintendent of Police Gayatri Sonowal demanded another Rs 2.5 crore. He was later allowed to go, but told to pay the amount.
On Monday, the police arrested Buragohain, Gogoi, Sonowal and her husband Subhas Chander, Giri and a constable named Injamamul Hassan. Three others have also been arrested – a man named Kishore Baruah, and police vehicle drivers Nabir Ahmed and Dipjoy Kalita, according to The Indian Express.
On Sunday, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that no one involved in the case will be spared, The Times of India reported. He said that the government had not restricted its anti-corruption drive to grade three and grade four employees, but had also taken to employees of higher ranks.