TURA, Jan 10: After a lull of over three months, the specter of militant activities returned to haunt the Garo Hills once again with the kidnapping of three traders by armed militants from near the village of Gasuapara in South Garo Hills in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Interestingly this is the first major incident post demonetization by militants.
According to reports, the 11 traders were on their way to the village market of Jadugre in SGH when they were waylaid near the village of Dumnikura close to the Telekali Forest Reserve.
The incident occurred close to the same spot from where 11 traders from Assam were kidnapped in September last year.
The number of people kidnapped could have been greater except for the fact that some alert traders made a successful bid in escaping from the clutches of the armed militants. 8 out the 11 that were present in the vehicle made the escape leaving three at the hands of the captors. The incident allegedly took place at about 6:30 am on Tuesday morning.
The three unlucky traders, who were taken at gun point by still unknown militants are all from Dalu in West Garo Hills and have been identified as Tamal Dey (38) of Killapara, Dulan Mahanta (36) also of Killapara and Durgapada Dutta (35) of Chaipani.
Police led by a Deputy Superintendent of Police and the Baghmara OC of SGH rushed to the spot on Tuesday morning immediately after news of the incident as the Gasuapara outpost remained offline due to network connectivity problems.
“We rushed a team to the spot and were still awaiting details of what happened due to poor connectivity. We can have a better idea of the people behind the kidnapping once we are able to confirm the details from the area,” said the Superintendent of Police, South Garo Hills, Anand Mishra.
“We are still to confirm the details of the kidnappers though prima facie it looks like the handiwork of local gangs. Inputs are still coming through and we have launched operations to rescue the kidnapped victims,” he added.
Incidentally a local MLA alerted the cops on the incident informing that some traders may have been kidnapped after some vehicles were being waylaid by armed men.