|Putu Mushahary and Kumar Tamang after their arrest on Tuesday. Telegraph picture
Tezpur, Sept. 24: Assam police today picked up five persons, including a girl, and arrested one more in connection with Saturday’s abduction of NHPC official Anil Agarwal.
Additional director-general of police (law and order) A.P. Rout told The Telegraph that three persons have been arrested in the case so far.
“The five persons picked up today had provided shelter to the six-member team of the abductors. Army personnel are also being used in the search operations,” he said.
Yesterday, the driver, Kumar Tamang, of the SUV in which Agarwal was travelling, was arrested along with Nijoon Basumatary, the owner of one of the four bikes used in the abduction.
Basumatary’s bike had an Arunachal registration number (AR 01 2387).
The mobile phone of the arrested person, Putu Mushahary, was used by the abductors who had twice called up NHPC higher-ups but no conversation took place — “neither about any ransom nor his release. The abductors are still trying to contact the company,” Rout said.
Agarwal, the general manager of Tawang Chu-I project in Arunachal Pradesh, was abducted by six members of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (Songbijit faction) on Saturday from the 12 Mile area under Charduar police station in Sonitpur district along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.
Sources said senior NHPC officials are camping in Tezpur since Sunday and so far no family members of the victim have reached Tezpur or have contacted the police.
Agarwal hails from Faridabad in Uttar Pradesh.
However, Debendra Arya, superintendent of police, Tawang, told The Telegraph this evening that he was in touch with the family members and that he had met Agarwal before he left Tawang.
“He never complained of any problem, including security,” Arya said.
Bharat Chandra Narah, the press adviser to chief minister Tarun Gogoi, said the latter was in regular touch with the police, seeking updates about the case.
Before leaving for Delhi on Sunday, Gogoi had asked the police to take all possible steps to rescue the NHPC official, Narah said.
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki had also extended all co-operation to the police for the release of the abducted official.