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Militants abduct 20 hydro workers in Assam

Suspected militants abducted 20 labourers engaged by a private firm at a mini hydroelectric project in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district. The incident happened on Sunday.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2012 20:55 IST
Rahul Karmakar
Rahul Karmakar
Hindustan Times

Suspected militants abducted 20 labourers engaged by a private firm at a mini hydroelectric project in central Assam’s Karbi Anglong district. The incident happened on Sunday.

“A group of heavily armed militants whisked the labourers away from the construction company’s camp site at Lungnit in the Singhasan mountain range,” Karbi Anglong deputy commissioner PK Buragohain said from district headquarters Diphy.

One of the labourers managed to escape on Tuesday, he added.

District police officials said the outlawed Karbi People’s Liberation Tigers (KPLT) could have carried out the abduction. The KPLT, seeking self-rule, has been into extortion from construction firms setting up cement and power plants in the hill district.

“We have not received any information about the militant group demanding ransom from the construction firm (Guwahati-based P Das & Company),” Buragohain said.

The labourers were working at the 6MW Lungnit hydroelectric project sited 36km from Diphu. Assam Power Generation Company Ltd, a subsidiary of Assam State Electricity Board, is executing the project.

Buragohain said the local police and CRPF personnel have launched a joint operation to rescue the labourers. Lack of telecommunication network and poor accessibility to the hilly area has slowed down the operation. The labourers on daily-wage hire are a mix of former tea plantation workers, Nepali, Bihari, Bodo and other ethnic groups.

The KPLT was caught in an internal feud earlier this month. It peaked on May 5 with one member killing self-styled commander-in-chief Bling Hanse, who had taken charge in July last year after security forces shot his predecessor Ampang Ingti.

First Published: Jun 12, 2012 20:34 IST