The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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NTPC men rescued, cop role doubtful

Lalmatiya (Godda), Oct. 14: The police who claimed to “rescue” the two abducted officials of NTPC, Farakka, and their driver last night remained busy throughout the day in “brainwashing” the trio.

After the abducted officials, Debajyoti Acharya and Subroto Dam, were rescued along with their driver, Mounul Ansari, they were taken to Mahagam police station premises around 2.30 last night. Early today, they were shifted to Expert Hostel at Urjanagar, the official headquarters of Rajmahal Coalfield Project, located some 9km from the coalfield.

Security was tightened and no one was allowed to enter the hostel, especially the mediapersons. H.K. Mishra, the inspector general of police (IG), Santhal Pargana, this morning ordered the “caning” of the mediapersons who tried to catch a glimpse of the rescued trio inside the Expert Hostel, some 50km away from Godda.

“Don’t allow anyone to enter the hostel campus,” Mishra ordered his subordinates. Irate over the attitude of the police for not allowing them even to take photographs of the victims and avoiding by the senior cops to divulge any details to the media, local mediapersons decided to boycott the Godda police.

“Actually higher police officials are busy rehearsing inside the hostel. They don’t want the media to hear the victims narrate what exactly happened. So they are brainwashing the victims so that they could narrate as if was a safe release without any ransom being paid,” alleged Sambhu Singh, a local resident.

Despite several attempts, Mishra was not available for comment. However, Biglal Oraon, the superintendent of police, Godda, last night led the team that located the three persons inside a valley cave within the dense forest of Bhorai, some 5-7km away from the coal project on Paharpur- Boyarijore Road.

“We located them, but could not find the abductors. We are still combing the entire area to locate Mahendar Hansdak, his brother, Suraj Hansdak and their accomplices,” he said.

Expert Hostel insiders disclosed that the trio appeared extremely tensed and were weeping. “Doctors who examined them, however, found them to be normal,” the sources claimed. Mishra’s attitude to drive back the scribes and the Oraon’s version that the police went and picked up the victims easily around 12.30pm last night, created doubts over the claims.

Meanwhile, NTPC, Farakka, unit must have heaved a sight of relief today after its employees were rescued last night.

However, uncertainty and panic loom large over the Rajmahal coalfield project, an undertaking of ECL, located 46km from the Godda district headquarters.

“The failure of the police, rather their compulsion, would certainly embolden the confidence of Hansdak’s group,” said a senior project official on condition of anonymity.

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