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Highway men loot traders on Garo Hills road

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Tura, Jan 15: Half a dozen small-time businessmen using the Phulbari route to proceed towards Tikrikilla on a business venture lost all their valuables when they were robbed by a gang carrying lethal weapons in a reserve forest beyond Chibinang during the morning hours of Friday, raising concern among travelers about the safety of the Chibinang-Tikrikilla road towards Agia in Assam.

“They were businessmen travelling in an auto from Haat Singimari to Lakhipur in Assam using the Chibinang road when they were robbed by a gang that followed them in a white alto car,” informed Superintendent of Police of West Garo Hills, Dr M G Raghavendra Kumar.

The incident took place at 9:30 AM and the perpetrators are believed to be a mixed group of people. The group of businessmen had just reached the reserve forest of Gapthuli, between Chibinang and Tikrikilla, when the alto car suddenly overtook them and stopped.

Around six men in the car which had been following them from Phulbari area and reported to be carrying ‘daos’ and ‘khukris’ jumped out of the vehicle and pulled the traders out.
The gang snatched their wallets and all their money including mobile phones before escaping the same way they had come.

The traders, one carrying almost Rupees 80,000 and another 14,000, lost over a lakh of their money in the daring robbery.

However, the West Garo Hills police chief clarified that approximately Rupees 90,000 was looted by the gang.

“We immediately put up roadblocks and Naka checking to intercept the gang. It seems they have taken one of the interior roads since they did not return on the Phulbari road where we had put up a Naka checking. We believe we have identified some of the perpetrators,” say the district SP.

It is strongly suspected that the criminals may have had prior knowledge about the travel by the traders and decided to trail them until they reached a secluded spot where the crime was committed.

The Gapthuli forest area has long been infamous for various criminal incidents including kidnappings and robberies.

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