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No trace of three persons abducted by militants

SILCHAR, Dec 8: Armed militants abducted three persons, identifiedas drivers of three trucks, engagedin lifting boulders from Chiri quarry located between Ainacherra-Lua river on Cachar-Dima Hasao border around midday of Wednesday. Seven labourers, including the helper of a truck, in panic and fear after seeing the militants fled into the nearby jungle and escaped unhurt.According to one of the labourers, one of the trucks was filled with boulders while two others were to be loaded when the militants, eight in number, suddenly made their appearance from the jungles around the foothills of Borail. While all the labourers made escape, the drivers were held captive and whisked away in theirtrucks to undisclosed location. Four of the militants were in uniform while rest in civil dress.
After the information reached the Joypur police station, a police team headed by Kiran Kumar Barua, sub-divisional police officerof Lakhipur, assisted by CRPF, immediately rushed to the spot and launched operation to trace the abducted drivers, Joy Kumar Singh, Bidya Singh and M Babu Singh. The police team could find three trucks abandoned on the jungle path and two of them were brought back to the Joypur police station. Though the operation to trace the drivers continued till sunset, no information could be gathered about the fate of the drivers.
According to police sources, the militants belonged either to Hill Tigers Force (HTF) or NSCN (K). Themotive behind the abduction is believed to be ransom. Information available indicates that an influential businessman of the area was served with extortion notice of Rs 5 lakh. His failure to respond to the notice ledto the abduction of the drivers since the trucks belonged to him, sources said. Moreover, the trucks were engaged in illegal quarrying,the sources added. This is a regular feature in the remote and isolated pockets bordering Cachar and Dima Hasao districts. (SentinelAssam)

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