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    NIA takes over Hizbul Mujahideen’s case from Assam Police,Over 35 ‘Irani’ gang members target Guwahati

    By Bhupen Goswami

    Guwahati : The National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Guwahati has formally taken over the case from Assam Police in connection with banned militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen’s attempt to expand its network in the State. Sources informed that the NIA has registered a case today and a team has been constituted to probe the case. The Central agency has been keeping a close eye on the developments along with Assam and Uttar Pradesh Police after hardcore terrorist of the outfit Qamar-uz-Zama was arrested by the anti-terrorism squad of Uttar Pradesh Police from Kanpur. Qamar-uz-Zama hails from Assam, and as per the investigating agency, he was entrusted with the responsibility to strengthen the outfit’s network in the State. He had also undergone training in Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan. Hojai Police, which took over the case subsequently, has so far arrested eight persons for their alleged links with the terror outfit. Qamar-uz-Zama, who was taken into custody by Assam Police recently, was sent back to Uttar Pradesh by a flight today. He will be produced before a court in Uttar Pradesh tomorrow. Sources said that Zama during questioning revealed that the outfit was attempting to bring more youths from the State into its fold. On other hands After the recent arrest of some members of a so-called “Irani” gang by Bhangagarh police, it has come to light that the gang has huge strength in its numbers and is specifically targeting Guwahatians. Officer-in-charge of Bhangagarh police station, Bipin Medhi said, “Around 35 members of this Irani gang have entered Assam and their main target is Guwahati.” Three Irani gang members – Shiva Dey, Rishi Goala and Amit Goala – were arrested by Bhangagarh police for snatching Rs 6 lakhs from a businessman who was coming out of a bank with the cash. Of the four persons involved in the crime, the police managed to nab these three. According to the police, these groups don’t belong here. They come from places like Cooch Behar, Bihar and Silguri. They commit their crime and flee. Irani gang members keep changing their modes of operation while targeting Guwahatians.Guwahati Commissioner of Police said, “The gang employs various modes of operation and in Guwahati they mostly use three of these.” All modes involve distracting the victim or the target.As the first mode, the gang members target people withdrawing huge amounts of cash from a bank. One of the members enters the bank and targets the victim while the other members wait outside. One of the members waiting outside chews on biscuits consuming the same with water. When the target comes out and on getting the signal from his colleague, the gang member spits out his mouthful on the target. As the victim tries to clean up his body, the other members snatch the bag with the money and flee from the spot. In another mode, one member of the group slings human excreta on the clothes of the target while another group member informs the victim about this. As soon as the victim tries to clean himself, the third member snatches the bag and vanishes from the spot. In a third mode, gang members put some itchy powder on the body of the target and when the victim gets distracted with his itches and starts to scratch, the bag is snatched. The modus operandi keeps changing even as the number of members in the gang is increasing. The city police have carried out various drives against the group and pictures of some members have been distributed in all the police stations.