Trapped by a Plot

Atop po­lice­man lands in trou­ble af­ter his brother is ar­rested in con­nec­tion with a prop­erty dis­pute

India Today - - NATION - By Kaushik Deka

As­sam Po­lice (Spe­cial Branch) Additional Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of Po­lice ( ADG) Kha­gen Sarma has landed smack in the mid­dle of a kid­nap-for-ran­som row. His younger brother is among those ar­rested in a prop­erty dis­pute which es­ca­lated into a kid­nap­ping drama.

On Oc­to­ber 31, a team from the Ba­sistha po­lice sta­tion in Guwa­hati ar­rested Atul Sarma, Kha­gen’s younger brother, Pramode Sarma, Atul’s fa­ther-in-law and a deputy su­per­in­ten­dent of po­lice as well as two po­lice per­son­nel. The charge? Kid­nap­ping 21-year-old Rubul Ali, brother of Wazid Ali who had bor­rowed Rs 30 lakh from Atul in 2009.

While the ADG washed his hands of the in­ci­dent, sources in As­sam Po­lice say Atul of­ten uses his brother’s help to force­fully grab land. “How am I re­spon­si­ble for what my brother does?” Kha­gen told

IN­DIA TO­DAY. On be­ing asked why Atul got bail im­me­di­ately while the other ac­cused were still in cus­tody, the ADG feigned ig­no­rance. “Ask the of­fi­cers han­dling the case,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, Wazid took the money on the prom­ise that he would get Atul a plot of land. Af­ter a two-year wait, Atul and Pramode de­cided to teach Wazid a les­son. On Oc­to­ber 30, Rubul was forced into a car in Guwa­hati to one Yakub Ali’s res­i­dence at Bor­gaon, a vil­lage on the city’s out­skirts. The kid­nap­pers then called, seek­ing Rs 50 lakh as ran­som. Wazid had al­ready ap­proached the po­lice and on their ad­vice, asked the kid­nap­pers to come to Ag­ile Hos­pi­tal in the city for the money. Atul walked into the trap.

This is not the first time Kha­gen’s name has been linked to a case of land-grab. In 2009, Ma­gani Devi Gang­wal, 84, of Guwa­hati filed a case against him for oc­cu­py­ing her

KHA­GEN SARMA HAS BEEN LINKED TO A PRE­VI­OUS IN­STANCE OF LAND GRAB IN GUWA­HATI IN 2009 WHICH ALSO IN­VOLVED HIS BROTHER.

land. Ac­cord­ing to her son, Kha­gen’s wife bought the prop­erty from three per­sons who claimed to be Ma­gani’s chil­dren. She was shown as de­ceased though no death cer­tifi­cate was pro­duced by the trio. Kha­gen him­self signed as one of the wit­nesses to the deal. Ma­gani con­tin­ues to fight for her land in the Gauhati High Court. It is al­leged that Atul mas­ter­minded the forged land deal.

“Chief Min­is­ter Tarun Gogoi has turned a blind eye to Kha­gen’s reign of ter­ror be­cause of his suc­cess against in­sur­gent groups,” says a Congress leader. SSP Apurba Jiban Baruah, how­ever, ruled out the ADG’S role in the kid­nap­ping. “We have ar­rested nine peo­ple. Kha­gen Sarma has no in­volve­ment in the case,” says Baruah.

UB PHOTO

KHA­GEN SARMA

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