| NHPC’s Tawang Chu-I hydel project site in Arunachal Pradesh. Anil Agarwal is the general manager of the project. Picture by Pranab Kumar Das |
Tezpur, Sept. 26: Assam police is set to launch a special joint operation with its Arunachal Pradesh counterparts from tomorrow in the foothills of West Kameng district in the neighbouring state to rescue abducted NHPC official Anil Kumar Agarwal.
Assam additional director-general of police (law and order) A.P. Rout told The Telegraph over phone that they would enlist the help of Arunachal police for the rescue operation tomorrow. Personnel from India Reserve Battalion (IRB) in Arunachal Pradesh will take part in the operations, he added.
Satyendra Garg, Arunachal Pradesh inspector-general (law and order), said, “We are constantly in touch with our Assam counterparts and are assisting them wherever required. We basically have a supporting role as the abduction was carried out in Assam.”
Altogether five companies of Cobra and two companies of CRPF and Assam police commandos have been conducting search operations near Bhalukpung (which is 44km from Tezpur and 220km from Guwahati) in Arunachal Pradesh.
Vijayanta Arya, West Kameng superintendent of police, said they would launch a joint operation in the bordering area if necessary.
She said an IRB company was already in Bhalukpung and conducting rescue operations.
Agarwal was abducted by cadres of the Songbijit faction of the NDFB from Charduar near 12 Mile in Assam’s Sonitpur district on Saturday.
Rout said the abductors have been using Agarwal’s mobile phone to contact his family.
They had earlier sent an e-mail to the chief manager of NHPC, demanding a ransom of Rs 20 crore to release Agarwal.
In a related development, nine more persons have been detained in connection with the case.
Union power minister Jyotiraditya Scindia told reporters in New Delhi that the Centre was concerned over the abduction and security agencies had identified some of the abductors.
He said the Union government was in close touch with the Assam government on the issue.
This is the first public reaction from the Centre six days after the abduction.
Rakesh, NHPC executive director of Subansiri project, met Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi in Guwahati this evening and discussed the abduction, sources said.