Villagers help police nab kidnappers

TURA: Tribal villagers from a hamlet in the Phulbari plain belt region of West Garo Hills have successfully helped police in getting members of a kidnappers gang arrested and their captives released without any harm.
The villagers of Rongmachadgre led by their headman (Nokma) played an active role in neutralising the kidnappers’ plans to extort money from the family of two victims who had been abducted by the gang, last week.
Rongmachadgre is 10 kms from the Masangpani junction that connects Phulbari with Rongchugre and Dadenggre.
Two carpenters from Koylaghat village of Phulbari, Hamidul Rahman and Samidul Rahman, had been engaged for wood work in a nearby church when they were kidnapped by a criminal gang on Friday night. The gang had demanded ransom for their release.
Following the abduction, villagers took it upon themselves to launch a search to get the two carpenters rescued. They alerted police and briefed them about the incident and also combed the jungle area with a police force.
With search teams of the police backed by the villagers fanning out across the jungle area, the kidnappers panicked and released their two captives on Saturday.
“Due to sustained pressure they released their victims without any ransom,” informed West Garo Hills SP MGR Kumar.
Based on the villagers tip off, police raided one of the houses in the village and caught one of the suspects identified as Sengchang Sangma, who hailed from Damas in north Garo Hills. From his possession they recovered a country-made rifle reportedly used in the abduction of the two carpenters.
A second suspect in the case, Mirinda Marak, who happened to be local contact of the group identifying the potential targets for kidnapping, was arrested from his home in Bandanggre Asim village and another country-made gun recovered from his possession.
Following their confession, police have identified three other members of the criminal gang who are now on the run.
Fed up with the activities of criminal gangs who create terror and mistrust among communities, villages across many parts of Garo Hills have in the last few years united in fighting against this scourge leading to a drastic drop in abudction cases.

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