A two-judge Supreme Court bench on Tuesday issued notices to the Centre and to Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, seeking their response in a case of alleged dacoity by army officials in Assam in 2011. The petitioner in the case has also sought a probe against General Suhag, who was then the head of Dimapur-based GOC 3 Corps, for inaction.
The alleged dacoity took place at the house of Renu Gogoi in Jorhat, Assam on December 21, 2011. Gogoi has claimed that army officials of Corps Intelligence and Surveillance Unit (CISU), Dimapur, led by Captain Rubina Kaur Keer, were involved in the dacoity. On the basis of an enquiry, then Army Chief General VK Singh had imposed a discipline and vigilance ban on Suhag, which was revoked by Singh's successor General Bikram Singh.
In a plea before the Supreme Court, Gogoi said that there has been no progress in the case since her husband lodged an FIR in December 2001, and that the CBI or any other independent agency should take over the probe. The plea also sought direction to the Centre for appropriate action to be taken against senior officers of the Eastern Command under whose jurisdiction the incident occurred.
"Give direction to CBI to investigate the instant case.... or Constitute Special Investigation Team to probe thoroughly the instant case at P.S. Jorhat, Assam, under Sections 395 / 397 IPC on December 21, 2011," the plea said.
"Direct Union of India to initiate action against senior officers of Eastern Command under whose jurisdiction the dacoity took place and the said senior officers deliberately covered up the incident and interfered in the ongoing investigation in the case to shield and protect the erring army officials," it said. "The Indian Army after hijacking the entire investigation has punished its officers by simple reprimand, severe reprimand, 14 days RI in military custody and three months in civil prison. Such an act by the Army shocks the conscience."