3 held in city gold heist case – Rebels admit to robbery
Manash Pratim Dutta
Guwahati, Sept. 11: Three Manipur-based militants have been arrested in the MP Jewellers robbery case that took place here on May 9.
Police today said the three militants were arrested from Siliguri in Bengal, 472km from here, on Friday and have admitted to their involvement in the crime. The trio include the chairman of a faction of Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), Senjam Notenkhomba Singh, and his two accomplices, Leishram Ibmugomtomba Singh and Rajesh Singh.
Guwahati police commissioner Hiren Chandra Nath said the three were caught and handed over to police by residents when they tried to loot a jewellery shop in Siliguri. They had opened fire at the security guard when he tried to stop them but the residents caught them and beat them up.
“They were seriously injured after the public beat them black and blue. Only Senjam Notenkhomba Singh is able to talk. During interrogation, he revealed that he had looted MP Jewellers with three accomplices. We are looking for the fourth accused,” Nath said. He, however, did not reveal the name of the fourth accused, saying investigations were under way.
“The KCP has three factions and Senjam Notenkhomba Singh claims to be the chairman of one. He was arrested thrice earlier, twice in Imphal and once in Shimla and was in jail from 2003 to 2013. After coming out of jail, he went on a spree of robberies. He now lives in Nepal with his family,” Nath added.
The same group had committed a daring daytime robbery, around 3pm, in a jewellery shop at Salt Lake in Calcutta on August 27. “As the two cases bore a resemblance, Guwahati and Calcutta police started a joint investigation. We are now trying to nab other members of the gang,” Nath said.
Four masked men had barged into MP Jewellers, located on the busy GS Road here, on May 9 evening, fired blankly and looted jewellery worth nearly Rs 3.5 crore.
Giving details of the robbery, Nath said, “On May 9, Senjam came from Nepal and the other three came from Manipur. They met at the inter-state bus terminus here and then came to GS Road. Senjam had come to Guwahati several times before so he has a good knowledge of the city. He selected MP Jewellers for the robbery on the basis of its location. After robbing the showroom, they took an auto-rickshaw to Paltan Bazar railway station and then went to Nepal via Siliguri. In Kathmandu, they sold the ornaments looted from MP Jewellers to five different shops for Rs 12 lakh.”
Soon after the robbery, city police had arrested MP Jewellers security guard Prem Singh and his friend Nilkamal Singha, whom they picked up from Nandapur village in Hojai district on May 9. They had also arrested Prem’s relative, Basanta Singh, from Manipuri Basti here on May 10 and Ngairangbam Bikram Meitei, whom they suspected of supplying arms to the robbers, on May 13. While Prem, Nilkamal and Ngairangbam are out on bail, the process is on for Basanta.
Nath said a team from Guwahati, led by deputy commissioner of police (operations) Harekrishna Nath, has left for Siliguri. He said the investigations may take some more time as the three militants are severely injured.