Suspected National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) militants have kidnapped three people near Mizoram’s western borders with Bangladesh and Tripura, police have said.
Witnesses have told police a group of about 10 men armed with at least four AK-47 assault rifles and three knives waylaid a pick-up truck with six people on board around 12.30 pm Saturday on the outskirts of Rajiv Nagar in Mizoram’s Chakma dominated area.
A police officer said one of the passengers was able to escape immediately while the remaining five were taken captive.
Two more escaped within the next few hours but three people — two of them said to be Bengali and the third a Chakma — remain in the kidnappers’ hands and are suspected to be in the jungles of eastern Bangladesh (the crime scene is just a few kilometers from the Mizoram-Tripura-Bangladesh tri-junction).
The trio all hail from Dorda town in North Tripura district’s Kanchanpur Sub-Division, the police officer said, adding they were returning from the weekly market at Rajiv Nagar.
No ransom demand has been received and Mizoram police have not been able to get in touch with the suspected kidnappers although the NLFT, given past kidnapping incidents in the area, is suspected to be behind the most recent abductions.
Mizoram’s western border with Bangladesh has seen several kidnappings in the past few years including of businessmen, company workers and professionals.
The last kidnapping was last November when telecommunications professional Deep Mandal, a West Bengal youth, was kidnapped along with two Mizo drivers, causing an uproar through the state.
Mandal was eventually released after more than 120 days in captivity. The drivers had been freed months earlier.