Baikuntha Handique Credit: File image

Tinsukia: The manager of a stone-crushing unit has been kidnapped by suspected ULFA-I militants from Assam’s Tinsukia district on Tuesday.

The victim has been identified as Baikuntha Handique (26), a resident of Jagun.

Confirming the development, deputy inspector general of police (NER) Jitmal Doley said: “We have received reports stating that Handique, manager of a stone-crushing unit, had gone to collect stones. He crossed the river at Wara, south east of Jagun, and hasn’t returned since,” he added.

“We suspect that he has been kidnapped by ULFA-I,” Doley said, adding, “Security forces have started a search operation and are trying to ascertain the information.”

According to sources, Assam police has alerted its counterpart in Arunachal Pradesh to block all exit routes.

ULFA-I cadres sneak into Assam through dense jungles in Arunachal Pradesh, and move back to their camps in Myanmar after such incidents via routes crossing through Arunachal Pradesh.

In November 2018, suspected ULFA-I militants had kidnapped Apurba Kakoty, the manager of a stone-crushing unit at 10 Mile under Jagun police outpost in upper Assam’s Tinsukia district. He was released along India-Myanmar border almost after a week under suspicious circumstances.

According to sources, huge amount of extortion was paid to secure Kakoty’s release. However, there was no official confirmation of any exchange of money.

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