An unidetified youth brandishing two firearms first hijacked a schoolvan and then kidnapped a girl student near Simaluguri in Sivasagar district in upper Assam Wednesday afternoon. Till late evening,police had not been able to trace the girl,a class VIII student of Kendriya Vidyalaya in Nazira,about six km from Simaluguri.
The incident occurred around 2 pm. Sivasagar SP Bijoy Giri Kuligam said there were 11 students of the school in the vehicle a Maruti van. The gunman first picked up a quarrel with some people in a restaurant and pulled out a gun. But when the people chased him,he ran away,and stopped the schoolvan to hijack it at gunpoint some distance away.
The person had at least one small weapon and he fired at least two rounds when people tried to stop him, the SP said. We are yet to ascertain whether the gunman was a militant or a miscreant.
According to the police,after hijacking the schoolvan,the gunmen forced the driver to make a U-turn and drive the vehicle towards the inter-state boundary with Nagaland,which is about 5 km from there.
The driver,however,managed to halt the van on a roadside ditch at Seujpur,about one km from Bihubor police station,following which the gunman took the girl student hostage and ran away into a jungle on the inter-state border.
Home Secretary G D Tripathi said security forces had mounted a massive search operation to rescue the girl.