The Sentinel IMPACT
Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, July 7: Two days after The Sentinel reported how uuthorized middlemen continue to operate with impunity at the Srirampur check gate, Kokrajhar police today caught seven such middlemen in an extra-ordiry sting operation led by the district superintendent of police himself.
Kokrajhar SP Shyamal Prasad Saikia went to the gate in the guise of a truck driver and caught the seven dalals red-handed.
"They have been arrested and booked under relevant sections of the law," Saikia told this newspaper. The accused have been identified as bin Das, Ripu Barman, April Hasda (Counter No 6), Suit Paul, Rupam Bagchi (Counter 91), Sunil Roy and Bacchu Goyari (Counter 99).
He said he had conducted an operation two days back, but the middlemen operating in the gate had vanished, seeing the uniformed policemen and beacon vehicles.
Personnel from five departments - Transport, Sales Tax, Agriculture, Forest and Excise - man the composite check-gate at Srirampur.
Police sources admitted that around 200 dalals are engaged by officials of these departments who claim they are short of staff. Most of these illegal counters are allegedly operating with the patroge of some officials of the Sales Tax department.
"Since I took over charge as the SP, I have written several letters to the officials manning the gate to intimate the police in case they face any problem in collecting revenue. But strangely, I haven't received a single complaint," the SP said.
He dismissed reports of police too collecting illegal money, saying if any dalal collects money in the me of police, it is difficult to catch them.
Saikia said a few erring constables were caught and departmental action taken against them two months back.
"We also held a meeting with officials of various departments at the check-gate on June 25 last in a bid to check the mece of dalals at the gate," he said.