KOKRAJHAR, July 9 - Kokrajhar police on Thursday apprehended seven middlemen who were illegally running �tax collection counters� at the inter-State composite check gate at Srirampur in Kokrajhar district.
The accused persons were caught red handed in an operation led by Kokrajhar SP Shyamal Prasad Saikia. The arrested persons have been identified as Aprail Hasda, Nabin Das, Sujit Paul, Rupam Bagchi, Sunil Roy, Ripu Barman and Bacchu Goyari.
It may be mentioned here that for the last several days, local people and truck drivers were repeatedly alleging that a section of check gate officials in association with some unauthorised middlemen had been indulging in extortion in the name of tax at the inter-State composite check gate located at Srirampur of Kokrajhar district on the Assam-Bengal boundary. Operating illegal counters, these middlemen were reportedly forcibly collecting money ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 or even more in some cases from the truckers.
Sources revealed that more than 200 middlemen are being engaged in the inter-State Srirampur composite check gate by a section of officials in the Sales Tax Department with vested interest.
A subdivisional magistrate-level inquiry has already been ordered by Kokrajhar Deputy Commissioner Madhav Prasad Sharma to inquire into the matter when the matter of illegal �tax collection� came to light.