Silchar, Sept. 29: The army today joined police and the CRPF in the search for three employees of a road construction company who were abducted by militants of the Jewel Gorlosa faction of the Dima Halam Daogah (DHD) in Cachar district of south Assam last night.
A senior police official said several persons had been picked up for interrogation.
Police sources said the militants had raided a roadside camp at Muktacherra, 52 km east of Silchar, and whisked away three employees of Debajit Construction Company — and not the New Delhi-based Punj Loyyd as mentioned earlier — into a nearby forest.
Intelligence reports said the company, which had bagged the contract for building a 3.8km-long road between Harinagar and Mahaltala under the Prime Minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana at a cost of Rs 3.25 crore, had received an extortion note for Rs 20 lakh from the Dimasa outfit.
The sources said the kidnapping of supervisor Samiran Shuklabaidya and drivers Raju Khan and Munna Khan was aimed at putting pressure on the company to part with a hefty ransom.
The sources said the combing operation was posing a problem as the forest was dense and also because it was not known whether the abducted trio were in Cachar or had been taken to adjacent North Cachar Hills, the mainstay of the activities of the Gorlosa faction.
This was the third incident involving the outfit in less than a week. It abducted two government officials and a gram sewak worker in the North Cachar Hills on September 23. On Wednesday, it raided Kanjar Basti, a colony of Bengali-speaking settlers, in Karbi Anglong.
Additional SP (headquarters) P. Konwar said Doyangbra BDO Jayanta Sarkar had today formally informed the the North Cachar Hills administration that three persons from his block were missing since September 23, adds our Nagaon correspondent.