3 Tripura hostages return home with Bangladesh supports: Officials
Peoples Time Desk
Three persons kidnapped from Tripura by members of the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) have been released after 17 days of captivity in adjoining Bangladesh territory, police said on Thursday.
However, small-time trader Litan Nath, 35, still remains untraced 28 days after his abduction at gunpoint by tribal guerrillas from Malda Kumar Para, a remote village in northern Tripura along the Tripura-Mizoram border, on November 27.
A senior police official said that faced with mounting pressure from Border Security Force and other paramilitary and state forces, the NLFT militants released the three kidnapped persons on Wednesday night in a mountainous forested area along the India-Bangladesh border. Supervisor Subhash Bhowmik, 48, JCB driver Subal Debnath, 37, and worker Gana Mohan Tripura, 37, were kidnapped at gunpoint by the NLFT ultras from Malda Kumar Para in eastern Tripura's Dhalai district on December 7 while they were engaged in border-fencing work along the international border.
According to the reports, the abductors were forced to set the hostages free finding no scope to hide them in frontier areas due to the stringent security vigil by Bangladeshi border guards and security agencies.
"Bangladesh security forces had conducted a massive search operation in their territory to locate the three Indian hostages and to nab the Tripura ultras, following request from Indian security forces," the police official said on the condition of anonymity.
Tripura Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Rajiv Singh earlier told that there was information that the NLFT militants had whisked away their hostages to Bangladesh since the crime spot was just along the international border. Government-owned National Building Construction Corporation was assigned the task to put up barbed wire fence along the India-Bangladesh border to check crimes and infiltration bids.
Litan Nath's wife had told the police that a few heavily armed militants had raided their house on November 27 and looted jewellery, cash and abducted her husband. The police said that the abductors had demanded Rs 1.5 lakh in ransom for Nath's release.