An illegal syndicate, reportedly led by former ULFA member Uttam Pradhani has surfaced in Dhubri's Sonahat. The former ULFA cadre has been alleged of terrorising stone and coal exporters at the Sonahat Land Customs (LCS) in Golakganj, Dhubri.
As per reports, the alleged syndicate extorts money from the exporters in exchange for special passes that allow them to ship their materials across the international border to Bangladesh.
According to sources, the syndicate which includes Krishna Kanta Roy, Abu Hussain, Sohidur Rahman among others charges Rs 10,000 to 12,000 per truck from the exporters, who export boulder, stone and coal to Bangladesh. About 200–300 vehicles cross the border every day and those who pay the bribe get special passes that ensure smooth and uninterrupted supply of their consignment. Those who refuse or fail to pay are threatened and harassed by the syndicate members.
The syndicate also manages to evade the law enforcement agencies by bribing or influencing the police, customs, enforcement and the district administration. As a result, the illegal and unauthorised activities of the syndicate go unchecked and unpunished. The traders and exporters are suffering losses and fear for their safety.
The name of Mahanta often comes up in connection with the Sonahat LCS. He is believed to be the mastermind behind the whole nexus and has a strong political clout. However, his identity and whereabouts are not known to many.
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