Two top-cops booked for treasure chest theft case in Tripura

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Agartala, Apr 2 (UNI) The officials of Crime Investigation Department (CID), Tripura, have recovered a sacred treasure chest from an abandoned lake near Garji of South Tripura today and detained two senior law enforcement officers in connection of stealing it.

It is the same chest snatched from a tribal family last week.

CID officials here today said that one of the accused Pinaki Samanta, DSP, Enforcement Branch of Tripura Police had admitted to the allegation of snatching, but stated that his senior Manik Lal Majumdar had broken the lock of the chest on the way back.

However, Mr Majumdar denied the statement and said that Mr Samanta boarded in his escort vehicle without his permission and snatched the chest from the house of one Sumitradevi Jamatia at remote Nagrai village under Ampi police station in south Tripura on March 29.

Mrs Jamatia had filed a case that a group of Tripura State Rifles (TSR) jawans led by Commandant of 9th Battalion Manik Lal Majumdar and DSP, Enforcement Branch of Tripura Police Pinaki Samanta took away their sacred chest with some valuables from her house when they were attending a social function in their neighbour's house.

According to Sumitradevi, Manik Majumdar and Pinaki Samanta along with 15-armed personnel had stormed her house and took away 260kg iron chest on the pretext of preserving it in a museum.

"No living member of our family had ever opened the chest, as my grandfather-in-law saw a divine dream and forbade his clan from opening it. But we all believe it contained a golden idol of our deity Garia, gemstones, antique gold and silver coins and jewellery," Mrs Jamatia stated.

Quoting one Suchitra Jamatia of Sumitradevi's family, CID officials said that her great-grandfather-in-law Bodhiram Jamatia's father was a chieftain in Teliamura during the reign of King Birchandra Manikya (1863-1896) and had received the chest as reward for commendable performance in Kuki (a tribal clan of Tripura) revolution.

Bodhiram, who inherited the chest, kept it in the ancestral Jamatia home in Teliamura till 1983, after which Suchitra's husband was given the responsibility of protecting and worshipping it.

Both accused officers were detained yesterday. The CID officials have sought sanction for their arrest, but the process has been delayed due to the absence of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who is in charge of the home department.


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