| Security personnel carry out operations near the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border on Wednesday. Picture by Pranab Kumar Das |
Tezpur, Sept. 25: The abductors of NHPC official Anil Kumar Agarwal today contacted his family members, five days after the abduction, and demanded Rs 20 crore for his release.
Agarwal, who is looking after the Tawang project of the NHPC, was abducted on Saturday evening from Charduar 12 Mile near the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border by six members of the NDFB (Songbijit faction).
NHPC sources from Tawang said the family members had received the phone call from the militant group today. Late this evening, the outfit claimed responsibility for the abduction and made the ransom demand for his release.
This is the first call from the militant group to the family members in Faridabad district of Haryana after abducting Agarwal, who is posted in Tawang.
The additional director-general of police (law and order), A.P. Rout, told The Telegraph Assam police also had information about the phone call by the abductors to the family members today but the family of Agarwal did not provide any detailed information from Faridabad.
He said a massive search operation was on near the border area along with the army and other security personnel.
Police conducted search operations last night in the northern area under Rangapara police station where the militant group earlier used to take shelter.
The superintendent of police, Tawang, Debendra Arya, said the abductors had informed to Agarwal’s family members that he is safe but the family did not get to talk to him during the phone call.
Assam police have picked up five persons, including a girl, in connection with the abduction. Three persons have been arrested in the case and three of the four bikes used in the abduction were recovered.
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki has also extended total co-operation to the police for the release of the abducted official.
Sources in the chief minister’s office said that the abducted official is safe.
There were reports about the abductors serving a demand note but neither the NHPC nor Agarwal’s family confirmed the developments, the CMO sources said.
Earlier, there was speculation that the militant outfit, which has a strong presence in neighbouring Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh, has sent the ransom demand for safe release of the official through an email to the NHPC headquarters in Faridabad.
NHPC sources said there is nothing official about such demands as yet. They, however, said two senior officers from the corporate house in Faridabad had reached Tezpur and were holding talks with the state administration.