In yet another case of high-handedness by the police and Excise Department officials, a team of Excise officials led by Sub-Inspector Naren Mandal of Tangla Excise Department with Black Cat commandos of Assam Police in tow -allegedly “rode roughshod” over the employees and customers of Amrit Bar and Restaurant at Tangla in Udalguri district of Assam on Friday night at around 10.10 pm.
The said charges were brought about by the proprietor of the bar-cum-restaurant Amrit Rabha. As per reports, according to Excise Department rules, bars are supposed to down shutters at 10 pm. Amrit Bar and Restaurant had also downed shutters by the prescribed time but, “as few customers were still inside, the back door of the restobar was kept open”.
The said Excise officer Naren Mandal, out of the blue, reportedly asked the Black Cat commandos to hand down a “severe thrashing” to the employees of the restobar for keeping the back door of the bar open after the stipulated time. The commandos reportedly also “misbehaved” with the few customers who were present.
“Mr Mandal started using abusive language against us and asked his commandos to thrash the resto bar employees,” stated the Manager of the bar, Samarjit Kachari. The proprietor Amrit Rabha further alleged that despite paying “huge revenues” to the Government and following the rules “to the t”, few Excise Department officials very often “harass” the bar and liquor shop owners by demanding “huge bribes and liquor free of cost”.
Rabha urged the Assam Government as well as the top officials of the Excise Department in Assam to investigate into the matter so that the “liquor shop owners who have proper license are spared from the unnecessary harassment in the hands of few greedy officers”.
Concerned citizens of Tangla have questioned the role of Excise officials vis-à-vis the presence of bootleggers near Tangla bus stand, Tangla Railway Station and in Kukurakata area “merrily selling” country liquor that too under the very nose of the Excise Department!
Talking to Northeast Now, Sub-Inspector Naren Mandal has, however, refuted the said allegations and said that he has acted “as per law”. The Superintendent of Excise, Udalguri, Prasanta Baruah, despite several attempts couldn’t be reached for comments.