Assam Rifles officer held in gold heist case

Assam Rifles officer held in gold heist case

Troopers stole 52 gold biscuits worth Rs 14.5 cr

Assam Rifles officer held in gold heist case

A senior officer of the Assam Rifles was arrested on Thursday by the Mizoram Police on charges of robbery.

According to Mizoram Police sources,  Commandant of the Aizawl-based 39th battalion of the Assam Rifles Col Jasjit Singh was arrested in state capital Aizawl on charges of being the mastermind behind the highway robbery involving Rs 14.5 crore worth of gold bars, which were to be  smuggled from neighbouring Myanmar.

On April 21, the driver of the looted vehicle Lalnunfela filed an FIR at the Aizawl police station claiming he was intercepted by troopers from the 39 Assam Rifles who went away with 52 gold biscuits.

The driver also said although the incident took place on the night of December 14 last year, he was afraid that if he revealed the truth he might be bumped off. He gathered courage and reported the incident, Mizoram Police sources added.

The Mizoram government had constituted a six-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) on April 22 to investigate the matter and registered cases including dacoity and criminal conspiracy.

In April, the SIT picked up eight Assam Rifles jawans, accused of participating in the dacoity. The men are now in custody and had revealed about the involvement of Col Singh.

Col Singh applied for an anticipatory bail, but  was rejected by the Aizawl District and Sessions Judge Lucy Lalrinthari and he was arrested in the court premises.

Meanwhile, the Aizawl-based 23 Sector of the Assam Rifles has suspended Col Singh with immediate effect after his arrest, Assam Rifles sources added. Apart from the eight Assam Rifles troopers and the Col Singh, the SIT had arrested four other people, including a few influential students’ leaders. The students’ leaders have been sent to judicial custody.