‘Hardened criminals behind Rupai Siding shootout’

Our Correspondent
TINSUKIA, May 19: After ULFA denied its involvement in the Rupai Siding shootout case in which two persons were killed by two motorcycle-borne miscreants on Friday evening, police now claim that the two miscreants, identified as Rupanta Moran and Montu Moran, are hardened criminals and burglars, even as Rupanta confessed before the police that he acted on behalf of ULFA leader Uday Asom.

While Rupanta Moran was overpowered by the public and is now in Doomdooma Police custody, Montu Moran is absconding, even as controversy still shrouds over the mysterious disappearance of .32 revolver from the shop premises of Udaychand Agarwal where the shootout took place on Friday evening with confusion surfacing on visuals of Rupanta Moran on social media. The incident assumed significance as this killing took place close on the heels of Additional Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna’s visit to the district from Monday to conduct public hearing on the killing of Bordumsa police officer Bhaskar Kalita.

The ULFA (I), in a press release issued to media by Rumel Asom, congratulated the public for nabbing one Rupanta Moran, an impersonator who claimed to be a member of the organization and had been involved in extortion. The press release stated that Rupanta Moran was not related to any member of the organization.

According to Mugdha Jyoti Dev Mahanta, Superintendent of Police of Tinsukia, Rupanta and Montu were arrested earlier by Doomdooma Police for criminal offences and had been on bail since 2017. Later, they got involved in burglary and stealing of tea leaves. On being asked about procurement of guns by these criminals, Mahanta said they had procured the gun from another criminal whose source has been identified. He also said that the .32 revolver which was used in the shootout had been recovered from a ditch nearby. Mahanta also rejected the local public’s claim that the two were informers of security agencies.

Meanwhile, protests in Rupai Siding and Doomdooma were instantaneous with public resorting to road blockade. All business establishments were closed down and movement of vehicular traffic was restricted. The situation, though tense, is under control.