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Kidnapped engineers in Meghalaya still untraced

Sunday October 21, 2012 03:23:36 PM, IANS

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Three engineers of Hyderabad firm abducted in Meghalaya

Continuing their kidnapping spree, the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) Saturday abducted three road engineers of a Hyderabad-based road construction company in insurgency-ravaged Garo Hills in western Meghalaya. Manoj Kumar, Deepak Kumar 

Shillong: Security forces have launched an operation in western Meghalaya to rescue five people, including three road engineers of a Hyderabad-based road construction company, abducted by rebels of the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), an official said Sunday.

Heavily armed rebels Saturday abducted Manoj Kumar, Deepak Kumar and A.K. Sharma, engineers of the BSC-C & C (JV) road construction company, from Dambu Aga Reserve Forest area in East Garo Hills district.

Earlier on Friday, the GNLA rebels kidnapped two ginger businessmen - Inadul Islam and Mosa Bapari - from Damal Asim in West Garo Hills district.

"The search operation is on and the whereabouts of the hostages are still unknown," Meghalaya Police chief N. Ramachandran told IANS, after paying tributes to police martyrs at a function here Sunday to mark the Police Commemoration Day.

Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) and Meghalaya's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) commandos have been pressed into service to trace the hostages.

Intelligence agencies and the state police officials strongly believed that GNLA rebels had kidnapped the three engineers and the ginger businessmen for ransom.

The Hyderabad-based firm was engaged in constructing a two-lane 94-km road at an estimated Rs.1,494 crore to connect Shillong to Tura, the most important town in Garo Hills region via Nongstoin, the district headquarters of West Khasi Hills.

The outfit had reportedly sent extortion demands amounting to crores of rupees to the Hyderabad-based firm.

IANS was unable to reach BSC-C & C (JV) officials to confirm whether the outlawed Garo outfit had served any extortion note.

"We have not got any information whether the GNLA has contacted the family members of the businessmen and the Hyderabad-based firm for ransom," Ramachandran said.

Admitting that the GNLA rebels were on a kidnapping spree, the Meghalaya police chief said the prime motive of the GNLA was to make quick money.

"The situation is very much under control and I appeal to the people of the state, especially in Garo Hills, not to extend any support or sympathise with these outfits as their main intention is to make money," Ramachandran said.

The GNLA, which has over 200 rebels in its fold, wants Garoland carved out of five impoverished districts of Garo Hills.

Over 35 people, including security personnel, were killed and more than 30 people were abducted for ransom in the area last year by GNLA rebels.

The GNLA has over 200 rebels, including a few women cadre. The outfit has reportedly procured a cache of HK 53 rifles and explosives to augment their arsenal.

The outfit has earlier attempted to extort huge sums of money -- ranging from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.1 crore -- from government officials, ministers, legislators and businessmen.



 



 
 

 

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