By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Nov 24: Guwahatians cannot heave a sigh of relief even when insurgents holding people for ransom are lying low. Insurgents have been literally replaced by tricksters, who rob people through conscience pricking.
The newest way of robbing people of their hard-earned money is conscience-pricking by tricksters who may be in any avatars – beggars, eunuchs, or couples pretending to be defrauded by tricksters or pickpockets. Guwahati is changing apace, so are frauds equipped with newer and innovative ways.
One of the most common avatars of tricksters is – couples going broke, pretending that they have been defrauded by miscreants or pickpockets. Such pretending couples, as often as not, have infants with them. They can beat Swedish Academy-famed fiction writers in concocting stories. They can shed tears or laugh as and when the situation demands – they are real life actors. Concocting stories like – they’ve gone broke due to cheating by frauds or pick pockets, being left with no penny to feed the infants they swaddle or to go their home states back – they elicit sympathy and money from people. Most of them pretend as to have come to Assam to visit Kamakya, Umanda and other pilgrim places in the State. They know how to prick people’s conscience to get money.
Such pretending couples with infants do roam around Guwahati in search of gullible, soft-hearted and God-fearing people. They are mostly seen at Ganeshguri, Guwahati Railway Station, Six Mile, Fancy Bazar etc. areas in Guwahati.
According to a source, these people are members of an organized gang that has a strength of 700/800 members in Guwahati alone. In fact, it is a gang that has its tentacles spread all over the tion. Most of the members of the gang are from Kolkata and Andhra Pradesh, besides some other States. The gang in Guwahati also has a few local members. All members of the gang stay somewhere near Guwahati Railway Station. There are 10/15 sub-gangs doing round in the city, collecting around Rs 2,000-3,000 daily. The gangs have adults, youth and children. The married members of the gang have infants along with them.
Talking to this reporter, a GRP constable said: “They’re well organized. A coterie of policemen going to raid their area isn’t free from being counterattacked. What’s even more dangerous is that they can create scenes to elicit sympathy from rights bodies. Without strict order from Dispur, no police personnel dare to raid their area. However, as of now Dispur doesn’t see it as a major problem. How come Dispur sits idle without doing anything when push has come to shove?"
Another avatar of pretenders is a section of eunuchs (kinurs commonly called as hijaras) roaming around in Guwahati. Guwahatians have already witnessed the number of such people increasing manifolds in recent years. Earlier, they were seen fewer in number in Guwahati railway station and trains. However, nowadays, they are seen almost everywhere. They board city buses and demand cash from passengers. There are allegations that the sudden increase in the number of eunuchs in Guwahati is because many of them are fakers – pretending to be eunuchs so as to earn easy money.