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‘I showed I wasn’t afraid’

Tura, June 18: Arvind Kumar showed no duress or fear while being held captive for two days.

They tortured him, repeatedly asked him to call his parents in Bihar, but he refused.

They fired over his head from point blank range when he refused to oblige.

In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Kumar described his worst nightmare.

“They made every effort to scare and put me under pressure. They asked me to call my parents, but I refused. The next day, they themselves telephoned my parents, seeking a ransom of Rs 50 lakh. I told my parents not to worry. Since they were torturing me, I told them several times to shoot me. I had faith in God,” said Kumar.

The daring SBI officer was made to walk for miles for two days, taken from one village to another. He could only identify one village, which falls under Ampati town.

“I may have walked for more than 40-50km,” he said. “On the first day, from an unidentified village near Rangsakona, I was taken on foot to Mandagre village, near Ampati. I walked for about 20km. They allowed me to sit and relax after sometime, as I was getting tired. They offered me food, but I refused to take. In the evening, I agreed to take food. I ate rice and dal.”

When he saw the police teams approaching them at Antekagre village this morning, Kumar made an effort to stand up and shout for help, but he was forced to hide in the jhum fields. As the police team approached, the abductors opened fire and the police retaliated. In the exchange of fire which lasted barely two minutes, the abductors left him behind and fled.

“When the firing began, I lay flat on the ground. As soon as the abductors left, I stood up saying that I am the SBI branch manager,” said Kumar.

After rescuing Kumar, the police continued to fire for about 10-15minutes. However, the three abductors had escaped.

“I thank the police and all my colleagues, as they have responded timely. They have given me another life. I will thank all of them again and again,” he said.

The militants spoke to Kumar and his family in broken Hindi. The abductors confiscated his pocket notebook, mobile (Samsung Galaxy grand) and cash.

“I will take rest for two days and I will apply for leave. I want to go back to Bihar and spend a few days with my family. I am scared to work in Garo hills,” Kumar added.