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All four abducted traders murdered

Kokrajhar, July 13: A top Baksa official today confirmed that all four traders abducted by suspected militants on Friday had been killed.

Special search teams found the bodies of three of the four missing traders at Hakuanala on the banks of the Manas in Baksa district today, 2km from where the body of Abu Bakar Siddique was recovered yesterday at Kamargaon in Barpeta district.

Siddique and his fellow traders — Rabul Amin, Saddam Hussain and Atwar Ali — were part of a seven-member group from Bogoribari in Barpeta district which had gone to Labdanguri to do business when they were abducted.

Labdanguri is 20km from Bogiribari, which is nearly 150km from Guwahati.

Three of the group had returned to Bogiribari earlier.

Confirming the recovery of the three bodies, Baksa deputy commissioner Vinod Seshan said, “All the bodies were recovered from Hakuanala today.”

Sources said the four were abducted and killed right away. There was no report of any ransom demand. Hakuanala, where the three bodies were found, is about 5km from Labdanguri from where the traders were abducted.

Dispur today said the Baksa incident was the handiwork of the NDFB (S) in its attempt to divert attention from the constant operation being carried out by security forces against the militant group.

“Four bodies have been recovered. The army, CRPF and the police have been carrying out operations to catch the culprits involved in the incident,” a statement said.

The outfit has, however, denied its involvement.

The state government has also announced financial assistance of Rs 8 lakh to the next of kin of the victims according to the provisions in the government scheme, the statement said.

The administration had launched a massive search operation involving the army, CRPF, police and two quick reaction teams since yesterday to trace the four traders.

The teams have been constituted to deal with critical and emergency situations. This is the first time they are being utilised in Baksa or anywhere else in the BTAD.

The NDFB (S) is a breakaway faction of the Ranjan Daimary group of the NDFB, which came into existence in 2012 after Daimary was arrested in connection with serial blasts. The faction had since been carrying out abduction, extortion and killing, including that of five passengers of a night bus on National Highway 31-(C) near Athiabari Tinali under Serfanguri police station in Kokrajhar district in January this year.

Seshan said the situation was under control though the police fired in the air and caned a mob which had gathered to protest the killings.

In another incident, a businessman, Hari Agarwala, was injured and his son Ajit was killed when the duo were shot at by unidentified men in their house at Balisiya under Rowta police station in Udalguri district of the troubled BTAD last night.

In another related incident, five persons were injured when the police beat them up at Bhaukamari chowk under Anandabazar police outpost in Baksa for violating curfew, which is in place since yesterday morning. Hearing of the incident, the local residents came out in large numbers and tried to attack the police force, forcing them to fire in the air. The people later blocked the Anandabazar-Gobardhana-Barpeta road for over two hours demanding action against the policemen.

The district administration had clamped curfew since 9am yesterday in areas under Gobardhana police station and Anandabazar police outpost for an indefinite period to thwart any untoward incident in retaliation to the abductions.

The curfew was relaxed for an hour this evening from 5.30pm.

Tension and anger have gripped the volatile Bodo belt after the incident.

Over 40 people had lost their lives in the violence in Baksa and Kokrajhar districts on May 1 and 2.


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