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From Our Correspondent, TNT News | Tura, April 28, 2018:
In a shocking incident, a BJP leader and party contestant from Phulbari in the recently concluded Assembly polls, Binoy Ghosh was robbed by a group of dacoits while he was on his way home to Phulbari near the village of Gaptuli under Phulbari PS at about 6:30 pm last evening.
It was reported that the dacoits were unaware of Ghosh's profession and taking advantage of this, the latter managed to save himself by pretending to be a school teacher instead of a businessman.
The incident has sent shock waves across the area with residents seeking extra protection from such groups that have suddenly begun to target travelers through the AMPT road. The pathetic condition of the road was one of the reasons why the dacoity was even made possible.
"I was returning from Shillong where we went for some official work and had reached close to the village of Gaptuli, about 15 kms from Phulbari. We were travelling slowly as the road is bad and there is always a danger of wild elephants. Suddenly, six people – armed with guns came in front of our vehicle and ordered us out," said Ghosh on the ordeal.
When the BJP leader was a little late in opening his side of the front door, one of the dacoits used the butt of his gun to break the front window. After getting out of the vehicle, they were asked to empty their pockets.
"I had about Rs 25,000 which I gave it to them and they also snatched our gold ornaments. They took my phone as well as that of the driver and a fellow traveler, Uttam Das. Two HP tablets which were in my bag were also taken by them. They asked to take out our SIM cards but as it was dark it was a difficult job. We managed to take out one each before they snatched the phones once again," added Ghosh.
The criminals beat up the driver, Shibu Das while asking him to reveal the name of the owner of the vehicle. They came dressed in camouflage which initially confused the victims.
All the time, the driver of the vehicle was held at gun point and the same question was repeatedly asked — what do you do for a living? Ghosh pretended to be a teacher as did his friend.
"They kept us waiting saying they were waiting for another vehicle to come before we could be let off. A car and a few autos also passed by but nothing was done to them. Later, they asked us to go and we fled. However, after a few moments, an auto-rickshaw started chasing us. We speeded up and did not stop until we reached Chibinang and informed the police from there," he added.
Normally, CRPF personnel are posted close to the place where the dacoity took place last evening though for some unknown reasons they were removed. The incident yesterday follows another dacoity that took place a few days ago where a Guwahati bound night bus was also looted by a similar group.
An FIR on the matter was filed on Friday at the Phulbari PS in West Garo Hills.
"I am in shock as we managed to save ourselves in the nick of time," said Ghosh.
"Why has security been removed from the place of the incident? Everyone is aware that the area poses a danger to travelers either from dacoits or elephants. How can they take chances with the life of people this way? Police personnel need to be placed there immediately," said a resident of Phulbari, SR Sangma upon hearing of the incident.