Why did the army take 21 days to act after tip-off?

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, April 17: Retired military intelligence officer Manoj Kumar Kaushal was tipped off about the ULFA’s cash, gold and weapons hidden under the Kali temple at Rani tea estate by former ULFA cadre Jiten Kalita of lbari on May 5, 2014.

“The petitioner on 10.05.2014 got an information from his informer i.e. Jiten Kalita (with whom he has worked in past when he was serving the army in Guwahati) that there is uccounted money to the tune of Rs 300 crore in cash, 300 kg gold and two AK 47 rifles in a Kali temple below the main statue of Kali Mata in a cellar (Tahkha),” Kaushal says in his petition to the Supreme Court.

However, he also says that the army had planned to recover the treasure on June 1 that year, but that some persons ‘in connivance’ with senior police officers, beat them to the draw.

It is a mystery as to why the army team waited for 21 days to conduct the search operation.

In his PIL, Kaushal has med 17 respondents, alleging that 13 were involved in stealing the treasure.

The persons he has med are Hitesh Kalita (Rangia), Budikhura Mukhtiyar (the then IC of Rani police outpost), Dipak Das (Rangia), Balen Kalita (Kamalpur), Abhijit Deka (rengi), Jitu Mani Das (Azara), Manju Urang (Rani), Dinesh Das (Mirza), Giasudin Ahmed (lbari), Mril Das (Tetelia), Binod Kalita (Agchia), Pravin Musahari (of 175 CRPF Bn, Guwahati) and Niranjan Kalita (Rangia).

“That the petitioner after seeing the news and information from Jiten Kalita that treasure has been taken out by Respondents No. 5 to 17, reached Guwahati, Assam on June 10, 2014 and stayed there for twenty days and was able to gather several proofs which clearly indicated that the treasure has been taken away by Respondents No. 5 to 17 in conspiracy with higher officials of the police,” Kaushal says in his petition.

Hearing his PIL, the apex court has sought a report from the Assam government.

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