After spending nearly two months in captivity in the jungles of eastern Bangladesh, two Mizo men abducted by ‘militants’ last November were released on Tuesday.
A third captive, Deep Mandal, an employee of Noida-based Telecom Network Solutions who was working on contract for Airtel, remains in the hands of the abductors. The abductors allegedly consist of members from the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) and the Bru Democratic Front of Mizoram (BDFM). They have demanded a ransom of Rs 5 crore for Mandal’s release.
The men who were released — Sanglianthanga and Lalzamliana — were handed over to the Mizoram Police’s CID (Special Branch) near Silsury town in Mamit district just before noon Tuesday. The release appears to have eased tensions between the Mizos and the Brus — a small tribe whose members are spread over Mizoram, Tripura and parts of southern Assam.
After the release, Mizo groups called off a week-long voluntary search operation that they had planned. Scrores of Bru families from three villages had, last week, defied their leaders’ appeals to avoid panic and fled to Tripura as students’ association Mizo Zirlai Pawl called for the voluntary search operation to find the abducted men. Their plan was stopped by the police, and most of the Brus who fled have since returned.
This week, worried by the Young Mizo Association’s call for a second operation, some Bru families again attempted to flee to Tripura. The search operation was again thwarted by the Tripura police, according to a senior Bru leader.