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11 abducted Assamese still untraced


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Agartala/Aizawl, Oct 15 (IANS) The 11 Assam people, who were kidnapped by militants Oct 10 from Mizoram along the inter-state border with Tripura, are still untraced, police said on Wednesday.

"The security forces of Tripura and Mizoram along with BSF (Border Security Forces) have jointly continued their search operation to rescue the hostages and to nab the militants," Tripura Police spokesman Uttam Bhowmik told IANS.

A police official in Aizawl said that the militants have demanded Rs.30 lakh as ransom for the release of the captives.

"The NLFT rebels might have taken the hostages to Bangladesh as the place is just a few kilometres away from the India-Bangladesh border," Bhowmik said.

The BSF also sought help from the Border Guard Bangladesh to locate and rescue the hostages.

The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) extremists Oct 10 abducted 16 construction workers from Rajivnagar village along Tripura-Mizoram border. Later, the rebels released five people.

All the 16 people – Bengali Muslims and Chakma tribals – were residents of southern Assam’s Karimganj district.

They went to Rajivnagar village in Mamit district in western Mizoram as construction workers.

After the erection of fencing and strengthening the security along the India-Bangladesh boundary with Tripura, the NLFT extremists use Mizoram to transit and slip through for their cross-border activities.

Tripura shares 109-km border with Mizoram and 53-km border with Assam. The NLFT guerrillas, with their base in Bangladesh, have been kidnapping people in Tripura and Mizoram to extort ransom money.

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