News Reporters, Spa-Parlours, Extortion; Guwahati Police Cracks A Curious Case

CCTV visuals showed how the gang of about 10 to 15 members guised as reporters entered the spa in separate groups and illegally obtained footage with which they later blackmailed the owner of the said spa.
The prime accused in the Guwahati spa blackmail case, Rumi Nayak has been arrested by Chandmari Police
The prime accused in the Guwahati spa blackmail case, Rumi Nayak has been arrested by Chandmari Police

Chandmari Police in Guwahati on Wednesday busted a major extortion racket being run by a group of people masterminded by a woman in the guise of a media worker.

What happened so far

After news broke out on Tuesday about how the gang tried to blackmail and extort money after obtaining footage of what went on inside a spa in Guwahati's Rajgarh locality, prime accused Rumi Nayak was nabbed by Chandmari Police today while she was addressing media and putting up a case of her innocence. She was subsequently taken to Chandmari PS by the police.

In the wake of the matter coming to the fore, all of the perpetrators made a run for it. On Tuesday, the owner of the spa filed a complaint against the gang at the Chandmari Police Station in Guwahati. In the complaint, the plaintiff mentioned how 10 to 15 people entered the spa and took the visuals. The name of a woman was also taken in the complaint based on which Chandmari Police launched a probe.

CCTV visuals around the spa, situated in Guwahati's Rajgarh area showed how the gang of about 10 to 15 members guised as reporters entered the spa in separate groups and illegally obtained footage with which they later blackmailed the owner of the said spa.

The time-stamp on CCTV visuals showed that around 5:23 pm several people entered the spa one after the other. At 5:26 pm, the main accused Rumi Nayak entered the spa with a DSLR camera on her. Around 10 minutes later at 5:36 pm, 14 people were captured leaving the spa premises.

The prime accused in the Guwahati spa blackmail case, Rumi Nayak has been arrested by Chandmari Police
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Meanwhile, Chandmari Police has filed an FIR numbered 48/24 under six non-bailable offences pertaining to the case having obtained a long list of names of the perpetrators. Sections 120(b), 143, 384, 354(a), 354(c), and 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) have been leveled against them.

As the case unfolded, several new facts came to light. It has been revealed that a member of the gang impersonating a customer had gone to the spa, while the other members came in as news reporters. All of the operations was planned and led by the prime accused Rumi Nayak. It has also come to the fore that this is not the first instance of blackmailing and extortion and the group has previously conned other spa-parlours after sending one of their members posing as a customer. Moreover, they also demanded money from several businesses in Guwahati's Fancy Bazar and targeted many Dhabas as well.

According to sources, the members of the gang are from Hajo in Assam's Kamrup district, and Mukalmua in the Nalbari district. They often come to Guwahati with malicious intent and carry out extortion and blackmail. Five of the gang members have been identified so far - Rumi Nayak, Babul Ansari, Amarjyoti Deka, Rubul Barman, and Chintu Ali. The police are currently searching for Amarjyoti Deka and Rubul Barman.

Profiling Rumi Nayak

The prime accused Rumi Nayak works for four online news portals of Assam. She works for a portal named 'Pratidin News 365' with its office in North Lakhimpur. Apart from this, she is also employed under '12 Live' and 'Guwahati Live', two other news portals. The name of the fourth portal has not surfaced yet.

Past crimes

During the course of the investigation, the police interrogated Rumi Nayak. While being questioned, she confessed to how she has carried out similar crimes in the past. She also mentioned how business organizations would employ her services to possibly take out competition.

She also named another man, Farooque Ahmed, who also took leadership of these crimes alongside her.

The prime accused in the Guwahati spa blackmail case, Rumi Nayak has been arrested by Chandmari Police
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Police action so far

With ample information at their hands, the police are expected to soon make an arrest from Guwahati's Bonda. They also have information of Facebook pages run by the accused in the name of news portals through which they made demands for money.

The person likely to be arrested, whose name has not been revealed by the police yet, also contested elections previously with support from an independent candidate.

Meanwhile, the police took Rumi Nayak for her medical examination after which they took her on a round across Guwahati to various places of interest pertaining to the case. The police also raided her home in Guwahati's Boragaon locality during which they recovered the DSLR camera she used. The camera contained the visuals she captured and used to blackmail people, sources said.

Other accused members of the gang are expected to be arrested soon.

The prime accused in the Guwahati spa blackmail case, Rumi Nayak has been arrested by Chandmari Police
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