A group of suspected militants abducted a tea garden owner and his son on Tuesday evening in the Doomdooma area of Tinsukia district of upper Assam.
Om Prakash Chowkhani, his son, Atulani, and four garden employees were picked up by 12 armed men when they were returning from the garden to Makum, a town near Tinsukia district headquarters, about 478 km north of state capital Guwahati.
Later on Tuesday morning, the employees were released and the Ford Ikon car of Chowkhanis was found abandoned at a tea garden in Kakopathar block in the district.
Om Prakash Chowkhani is a prominent tea planter in the state and owns four gardens in tea-rich zone Tinsukia district. The incident came to light on Tuesday when Chowkhani’s employees and family informed the police.
Although no militant outfit has claimed responsibility so far, the district police suspected the United Liberation Front of Asom to be behind the incident.
A source in the district police said on condition of anonymity that some tea gardens owners had received extortion notes from the Ulfa in recent months in upper Assam districts, but very few informed police.
District police chief Diganta Bora said a manhunt had been launched to nab the abductors. “It is too early to comment on the abductors and the motive behind the abduction.”