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Peace rally to protest employee abduction

Participants in the rally at Tura on Saturday. Picture by Saidul Khan

Tura, Aug. 9: A peace procession was held here today to condemn the kidnapping of SBI employee Subodh Kumar Mishra, abducted at gunpoint on Tuesday from Gasuapara in South Garo Hills.

His whereabouts are still not known, despite attempts by the police to rescue him.

The procession saw participation by bank officials and staff, including the public, church leaders and members of different social organisations.

“The kidnapping has dampened our spirits and our staff are not motivated to work in remote areas. We urge the abductors to unconditionally release Mishra,” said Nixon Joseph, assistant general manager, SBI (Garo hills division).

Appreciating the efforts by the police who have continued their search operation, Joseph said, “An unfortunate incident like kidnapping has made things worse. We are here in Garo hills to serve the people. Unpleasant situations make us feel insecure.” Banking institutions operating in Garo hills including HDFC, Axis Bank and ICICI took part in the procession to express solidarity.

Several social organisations like the Rotary Club, A’chik Baptist Dalgipa Krima, Mother’s Union, Central Puja Committee and Bakdil have issued an appeal seeking Mishra’s release.

Bank officials told The Telegraph, “The abductor made a call today and has reduced the demand from Rs 1 crore to Rs 5 lakh. Mishra was allowed to speak to his family as well.”

“Our effort to rescue Mishra is still on. So far, we don’t have any information about his whereabouts,” said G.H.P. Raju, inspector-general of police (operations).

On June 16, Arvind Kumar, SBI branch manager of Ampati in South West Garo Hills was abducted from Garobadha.

He was rescued unharmed by the police in an operation on June 18.