Monday, June 24, 2024
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Rebels free Railway driver after 1 month

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From Our Correspondent

 Guwahati: An engine driver of the Railway, who was kidnapped by a little-known militant outfit named United Democratic Liberation Army (UDLA) in Hailakandi district in south Assam last month, was released unharmed by his abductors on Sunday.

Hailakandi district Superintendent of Police Hemanta Kumar Bhattacharyya said the railway driver – Tarun Kumar Bhattacharjee – was rescued from a forest on the Assam-Mizoram border around 5 AM on Sunday. “We rescued him after he had been apparently set free by his captors somewhere inside the jungle close to the Mizoram border,” the SP said.

A small group of militants had whisked away the railway driver and his assistant when they were driving a passenger train from Ramnathpur in Assam to Bairabi in Mizoram on October 20 evening. “The two were abducted by the armed militants by stopping the train when it had slowed on the tracks that were under maintenance,” the SP said.

While the assistant driver was released within a few days, driver Bhattacharjee was held captive with the militant group demanding a ransom of Rs 1 crore. “The police, however, do not have any information about whether his family had made any payment to secure the release of Bhattacharjee,” the SP said.

The UDLA is a small group comprising about fifty militants, the SP added.

Gogoi for overall development: Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said development of backward areas of not only Assam but any part of the country and employment generation would serve as panacea for resolving problems of insurgency, Maoists upsurge or naxalism.

Talking to media here on Saturday, Gogoi cautioned against neglecting development of vulnerable, backward areas in the development schemes as these areas would turn breeding grounds for Maoists and insurgents.

These schemes can act as ‘preventive measures’ to check rise of Naxalism and other insurgent movement as those would generate employment avenues for disgruntled youth from backward areas.

Gogoi said backward areas in Assam had been identified and deputy commissioners will be asked to submit reports on implementing developmental schemes there.

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