|The car in which Agarwal was travelling. Telegraph picture
Tezpur, Sept. 22: Security forces have not yet been able to trace NHPC official Anil Kumar Agarwal, who was abducted yesterday by militants of the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland from Assam’s Sonitpur district bordering Arunachal Pradesh.
Agarwal, the general manager of the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation’s Tawang project, was kidnapped from the 12 Mile area of Charduar around 7.30pm. The site is about 18km from Charduar police station and the Assam Rifles headquarters, about 40km from Tezpur, the Sonitpur district headquarters, and 200km from Guwahati.
Sonitpur superintendent of police Arabinda Kalita told The Telegraph that six members of NDFB (Songbijit) had abducted Agarwal. The militants, who were armed with sophisticated arms, gheraoed the SUV(AR 03 2888) the official was travelling in, beat up his driver Kumar Tamang and whisked Agarwal away on a motorbike. Tamang has been kept at Charduar police station.
The police later recovered a Hero Honda motorbike (AS 12 S 7633), believed to have been used to abduct Agarwal.
Kalita said, “A search operation is on and Arunachal Pradesh police are co-ordinating with us. All security agencies are involved in the operation”.
Deputy inspector-general of police (northern range) V.K. Ramisetti, who is monitoring the search, said a massive combing operation has been launched by the police and the army.
Additional director-general of police (law and order) A.P. Rout has rushed to Tezpur to supervise the operations.
NHPC chairman-cum-managing director Sai Prasad told this correspondent over phone from New Delhi that Agarwal was the general manager of Tawang Chu-I hydroelectric power project. He said Agarwal was from Faridabad and had been posted in Tawang for the past year. Senior NHPC officials have rushed to the spot, he added.
The Tawang Chu hydroelectric plant is located on the Chu river in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh. Work on the project is yet to begin, as the residents are opposing it. There are two hydroelectric power projects in Tawang, the other being Tawang Chu II.
Lobsang Gyatso, the general secretary of Save Mon Region Federation, Tawang, an NGO opposed to setting up of hydel projects in the Tawang area, has appealed to the militant outfit to release Agarwal.
Earlier this month, a small tea grower Bhadreswar Nath was abducted from Jaishidhi, near the Assam-Arunachal border, in Sonitpur district. He was released after two days.