BARPETA, June 18 � In all, 15 persons were arrested from Bhella under Barpeta police station in connection with an attempt to free a culprit from police custody and kidnap a police officer on duty on June 14 night. According to highly-placed police sources, a police team led by Pranjal Hatibaruah, a sub inspector of police of the Sadar police station was coming from Guwahati after taking custody of a culprit involved in a number of crimes in midnight of June 13 last. As they reached Batgaon, in Barpeta district one car tried to intercept the vehicle carrying the police party followed by a bus behind it. The police team somehow overtook the car and questioned the passengers of the car about the reckless driving in spite of a car signalling time and again seeking passage. But instead of replying to the questions they began to attack the police party injuring Hatibaruah grievously. Soon the Sadar police station was informed and forces reached the spot.
In the meantime, passengers from the bus behind the police vehicle joined the confrontation and tried to snatch the arms and to pick up the police personnel numbering five in their vehicles. But it was foiled due to the arrival of more forces on the spot. The car used by the attackers along with three inmates was taken to the police station. After receiving sufficient clues from their interrogation, twelve persons were arrested on June 14 night from Bhella making the total number of persons arrested fifteen.
However people of Bhella refuted the police charges. A number of persons whom this correspondent spoke to informed that the vehicles met by the police party were part of a marriage party. The marriage party was returning home after the completion of the wedding at Bamunbari in Nalbari district. As they reached Batgaon, near Chenga a car entered in between the car and the bus of the marriage party. Thinking that it might be a car of the robbers, the car in front did not allow them to overtake. But somehow it managed to overtake and intercepted the car and the quarel began there.
The opinion of the people also cannot be ruled out as frequent robberies on the roads of the district have frightened the common men. Whatever, the cause the clash has widened the gap between the police and the people of Bhella areas and there is an urgent need to minimise it at the earliest.