GUWAHATI, Sept 8: The state CID has recovered over Rs 64 lakh in cash and 21 blank cheques signed by a businessman’s mother during raids while investigating an extortion case in which 10 people, including SP and DSP level officers, of Bajali district were arrested.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, special director general of police Harmeet Singh said the 10 accused were arrested since September 3 on the charge of extorting money from the businessman and are currently in CID custody.
The 10 included an IPS officer who was serving as the SP of Balaji district, a DSP and two sub-inspectors of police.
The special DGP said a few more people are likely to be arrested.
It is also being found out why this businessman, Rabiul Islam, was targeted by the accused who allegedly demanded Rs 2.5 crore from him. Islam’s business dealings are also being looked into, Singh said.
He said that during raids in different locations since the registration of the case, Rs 64,29,500 in cash was recovered from a suitcase and four sets of fingerprints found on it, which are being examined.
Twenty-three cheques, including 21 blank ones, bearing the signature of Islam’s mother have also been found, besides other documents and items such as mobile phones and a laptop.
Singh said a demand for Rs 2.5 crore was allegedly placed before Islam, of which he had paid Rs 10 lakh in cash to the SP and the cheques were given in lieu of the rest of the amount.
Islam had also given two expensive laptops as demanded, one of which has been recovered by the police, he added.
The CID registered a case on August 31 initially against seven police personnel of Bajali, including the deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and two sub-inspectors (SI). The SP, Siddhartha Buragohain, was transferred from Balaji the next day and was arrested later.
The then-additional SP (ASP) Gayatri Sonowal, DSP Puskal Gogoi and SI Debajit Giri, in charge of the Bhawanipur outpost have been arrested.
Two drivers (home guards) of the SP and the Personal Security Officer (PSO) of the ASP have also been apprehended. The husband of Sonowal and two alleged middlemen are among the others arrested so far.
Singh said Islam lodged a complaint of the alleged extortion attempt to the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-corruption on August nine, and he also submitted some audio recordings in support of his case.
A few days later, Islam was picked up by the district police and allegedly subjected to physical harassment after a raid in his house for drugs yielded no result, Singh said.
In the meantime, the vigilance wing contacted the police headquarters about the complaint made by Islam, and the CID registered the case on August 31.
He said a report that a former cop had provided information on Islam to the now-arrested SP is being looked into.
Singh said experts in forensic psychology from Gandhinagar-based National Forensic Sciences University have interrogated the accused and their report is also expected soon.
“The case is under investigation. All forensic, material and circumstantial evidence are being brought together to ensure a foolproof case,” the officer added. (With inputs from PTI)