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Abducted teacher returns home
- wife claims she paid rs 20-lakh ransom

Islampur, July 11: A teacher who was abducted from Chopra on July 4 returned home today after being released by his captors at Ambari in Falakata, Jalpaiguri, after his wife allegedly paid a Rs 20-lakh ransom.

Mohammad Habib, 42, was kidnapped when he was returning home from Mohammad Bux High School on his motorbike.

Chopra police recently arrested Mohammad Ajimul, the brother of former CPM MLA from Chopra, Mohammad Maimuddin, in the case.

According to police sources, Habib was released by his captors at Ambari from where locals took him to the police station.

Falakata police contacted their counterparts in Chopra.

A team of policemen, his wife and other family members went to Falakata this afternoon and brought him back.

Later, the Chopra police brought Habib to the Islampur subdivisional court where he made a statement before the judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Habib is the convenor of the Trinamul Congress education cell in Chopra and had fought the last Assembly elections as an Independent.

His wife, Sufia Begum, is also an active worker for Trinamul. Habib is from Malda’s Mullickpara and has been residing in Chopra since 2003 when he got his job as a teacher there. The couple have two daughters.

Speaking to The Telegraph on the court premises, Sufia claimed today that she had paid a ransom of Rs 20 lakh for her husband’s safe release.

“We sold whatever we had in order to gather the ransom money. I sold off a small tea garden we had and my jewellery. I had no other way but to pay up,” Sufia said.

“I was returning on my bike from school when an SUV stopped in front of me and before I could realise anything I was dragged into the vehicle at gunpoint. I was blindfolded. After an hour’s drive, I was taken inside a house where I was kept gagged, but they gave me food,” Habib said.

The police, however, said they would probe whether any ransom was paid. Subdivisional police officer of Islampur, Subimal Pal, said the teacher had been brought back safely.

When told about the wife’s claim that a ransom has been paid, Pal said: “I do not know anything about the ransom, we are looking into all aspects of the case.”