The militants who kidnapped 11 men, all skilled labourers from south Assam’s Patharkandi town, at the Mizoram-Tripura-Bangladesh tri-junction on Friday night have demanded Rs 30 lakhs for their release.
A senior police officer said the militants — made up of cadres of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and the Bru Democratic Front of Mizoram (BDFM) — made the ransom demand to the kidnapped men’s relatives on Sunday.
The militants apparently believed the men were small-time contractors during the time of the kidnapping.
The armed kidnappers stopped a truck carrying the 11 men and eight other people, including women and children, about 3 kms outside Mizoram’s Zozampui village on the way to Rajiv Nagar town, also in Mizoram, and led 11 of the men into the jungles, crossing the international border and taking them to their base camps in the jungles of Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts.
Trans-border kidnappings are common in this part of the state in spite of a heavy Border Security Force presence, and at least 20 people have been kidnapped by armed Bangladesh-based militants in four separate incidents in the past two years alone.