The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hostages escape from moving car
- Former militants abduct oil officials

Guwahati, June 17: Former Ulfa militants today abducted two senior executives of Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) from a posh Guwahati hotel and subjected them to over four hours of physical and mental torture before the duo escaped by jumping out of a speeding car.

Senior manager (projects) Jadav Kalita and adviser (projects) Arun Kumar were rudely awakened in the wee hours, assaulted and taken from one place to another before their daring escape. The kidnappers and two more surrendered Ulfa (Sulfa) activists were arrested later in the day.

An official at the NRL’s corporate office here said one of the accused, Manoj Hazarika, telephoned the senior manager around 3.30 am, saying he wanted to meet him. When Kalita refused to meet anybody at that unearthly hour, the Sulfa activist and co-accused Upen Bharali broke into room 404.

The duo also assaulted Kalita and asked him to summon his colleague, who was in room 412. Kumar got the same treatment on entering Kalita’s room. The kidnappers left the hotel with the NRL executives around 8 am, by which time they had ransacked the room and Kalita’s belongings.

The hotel management could not be contacted for comment.

The Sulfa duo took with them Rs 7,000 in cash and the credit cards of the two NRL executives.

Additional superintendent of police Bibekananda Das said the hostages escaped by taking the gamble of jumping out of the Maruti Zen in which they were being taken to another location.

After coming out of Hotel Dynasty, which is in the Lakhtokia locality of the city, the kidnappers took Kalita and Kumar to Hotel Apollo at Bharalumukh. From there, they went to a PCO in Bhootnath and asked the hostages to call their office in the city and ask for Rs 5 lakh.

The kidnappers’ next destination was Pandu, on the outskirts of the city. It was while returning that Kalita jumped out of the vehicle at Maligaon and reached the NF Railway headquarters. Kumar escaped in similar fashion at Kamakhya Gate and hired an autorickshaw to reach a police post at Bhootnath.

The police traced the kidnappers to a betting joint at Khanapara. Two more Sulfa members, identified as Ganesh Upadhyay and Bimal Das, were taken into custody along with the duo.

The two hostages had checked into Hotel Dynasty at 11.30 am yesterday. They were on an official trip. Kumar, who was injured, is undergoing treatment at International Hospital.

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