fake gold
A view of the fake gold artefact. Image credit - Northeast Now

Amid Covid19 lockdown in Lakhimpur district, an elderly couple travelled from 24 Pargana district of West Bengal to Bongalmara area of Lakhimpur to buy an artefact of gold only to be duped by the seller and caught by the police.

The incident took place on Friday when the couple was spotted loitering suspiciously at Bongalmara by some villagers amidst lockdown and it was informed to the police.

After being detained by the police, the couple, identified as Gopal Chakrabarty (71) and Nilima Chakrabarty (61) confessed that they were invited by a seller from Bongalmara over the phone to collect the gold artefact at Rs 2.5 lakh.

However, the artefact, a statue of Jesus Christ on Cross, a common and typical representation of the infamous Bongalmara fake gold trade, was handed over to them by one Nasima Begum.

According to police, Nasima was deputed by one Humayun, son of Hasen Ali of Sonapur.

The police have also detained Nasima Begum.

Also read: Assam: Lakhimpur police arrests one with fake gold and currency notes

This the latest incident of the fake gold trade, which has become synonymous with Lakhimpur’s Bongalmara region reoccurring again and again after regular intervals with seemingly no end.

Earlier, people from different parts of the state or from other northeastern states were duped by these fake gold traders but since 2019, buyers from Uttar Pradesh and Punjab too have been lured to Bongalmara and duped.

Despite arrests of traders of this illicit activity and recovery of fake gold artefacts along with the duped customers, the police have remained unsuccessful in eradicating the crime.

This is happening at a time when Assam Police is being empowered by chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to root out all types of criminal activities.

The public here is of the view that why the police have failed in eradicating the crime of fake gold and counterfeit notes within a radius of less than 30 square kilometres.

Farhana Ahmed

Farhana Ahmed is Northeast Now Correspondent in North Lakhimpur. She can be reached at: farhana.ahmed777@gmail.com