The police said that on Saturday morning, they were kidnapped from the Chiri River Quarry in the Matrycherra area of the Udharband neighbourhood in Cachar district and transported to Dima Hasao district.
The militant group Zeliangrong United Front (ZUF), located in Manipur, kidnapped them and demanded a substantial sum of money from Sankar Roy, the owner of the stone quarry, according to Inspector General of Police (Law and Order), Prasanta Kumar Bhuiyan.
“Immediately after the abduction, Cachar and Dima Hasao police jointly launched an operation and within 48 hours, the labourers were rescued,” he said.
Bhuiyan said that they were rescued from the Lodi Kuki region close to Digunchara Grant on the Chiri River’s bank, which is under the control of the Mahur Police Station in Dima Hasao district.
The arrested laborers were identified as Raju Tanti, Amit Orang, and Biswa Dhar.
Orang said that on Saturday morning, when they were working at the quarry close to the forest, a group of armed men suddenly showed up and ordered them to accompany them.
“When we were first taken up in a vehicle, we were blind-folded. The vehicle dropped us off an hour later, and we hiked to the hills with the armed men. They kept moving us, and at three in the morning the following night, they asked us to go,” he claimed.
Orang said that the armed men told them to keep moving forward and not to turn around. “We came down from the hills and found a village. Later we met local police and returned home,” he said.
IGP Bhuiyan said that during the preliminary investigation, it was discovered that Sankar Roy, the owner of a stone quarry, had been demanded to pay a substantial ransom, however it is unclear if he had done so or not.
He said that the laborers were transported to the hills in a car that belonged to Noboda Barman, the owner of another stone quarry.
“We’re not ruling out the chance that these businessmen may have been involved in criminal activity. We are looking into this more,” the IGP said.
Bhuiyan said that ZUF is active in Manipur and is also trying to make inroads in Assam.
There have been multiple reports in the past that militant groups attempting to kidnap people and demand money at gunpoint along Assam-Manipur border.
“We are increasing the security arrangements in these areas now,” Bhuiyan said.
–Ajit Weekly News
News Credits – I A N S