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Extortions, abductions rampant in Sonitpur

By Correspondent

TEZPUR, April 7 � Extortions and kidnappings have become rampant in Sonitpur district. Many youths have been committing such unlawful acts in the district, allegedly under the nose of the law-enforcing agencies. Though various insurgent groups including both the Ranjan Daimary and Gobinda Basumatary factions of the NDFB are into either unilateral or bilateral ceasefires, a section of youths has been creating an unstable situation by serving extortion demands on teachers, businessmen and others and resorting to kidnappings.

Many victims, who received phone calls in the name of the NDFB or some other groups, stated on condition of anonymity that they have been served extortion notes of Rs 50,000 to Rs 50 lakh. Some of these victims have even paid the extortion amounts. One Subrata Saha (name changed), a promising singer of Dhekiajuli area, told this reporter that he has been served an extortion demand of Rs 5 lakh, causing a great deal of anxiety to his family.

It may be mentioned here that the Ranjan Daimary faction of the NDFB had earlier caused panic in the northern part of Sonitpur district on many occasions. After declaring a unilateral ceasefire, the NDFB (R) has kept away from activities which may harm its peace initiative, stated a senior leader of the Ranjan Daimary faction of the NDFB here.

When asked about the ongoing extortion demands in Sonitpur, B Naijab, publicity secretary of the NDFB (R) faction, denied such acts from their end. He said that the NDFB (R) is involved in a peace process with the Government, seeking a permanent solution to the vexed Bodoland issue. �A section of anti-ethnic people have been engaged by the government machineries including the Assam Police to derail the peace process,� Naijab alleged. �We urge all concerned to desist from such conspiracies,� he added.

Expressing his annoyance, a senior NDFB (P) leader, R Guthal said that a police team conducted a midnight search operation at his home, searching for one Jainal Abeddin Khan. Khan was later rescued from a remote Muslim locality in Darrang district.

Some miscreants have been carrying out kidnappings in the district since the last few months. Recently, a gang kidnapped a 17-year-old boy of Sirajuli Molan Pukhuri village under Dhekiajuli PS in the name of the NDFB. A sum of Rs 5 lakh was demanded as ransom. A month ago, one Kaji Jaffaruddin alias Mujjaffar of Tezpur Mazid Patty was kidnapped by a group in the name of NDFB. He was later rescued from the clutches of a Muslim couple in Guwahati.

Meanwhile, talking to this reporter, RS Thakur, CO, 44 Assam Rifles, Lokra, stated that a number of phone calls making extortion demands in the name of various armed groups have been traced during the last few days. But the major constraint is that people who are victims of such threats remain mum. �We urge them to cooperate with the security forces engaged in the district by disclosing their problems, otherwise it will not be possible to check this problem,� he maintained.

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Extortions, abductions rampant in Sonitpur

TEZPUR, April 7 � Extortions and kidnappings have become rampant in Sonitpur district. Many youths have been committing such unlawful acts in the district, allegedly under the nose of the law-enforcing agencies. Though various insurgent groups including both the Ranjan Daimary and Gobinda Basumatary factions of the NDFB are into either unilateral or bilateral ceasefires, a section of youths has been creating an unstable situation by serving extortion demands on teachers, businessmen and others and resorting to kidnappings.

Many victims, who received phone calls in the name of the NDFB or some other groups, stated on condition of anonymity that they have been served extortion notes of Rs 50,000 to Rs 50 lakh. Some of these victims have even paid the extortion amounts. One Subrata Saha (name changed), a promising singer of Dhekiajuli area, told this reporter that he has been served an extortion demand of Rs 5 lakh, causing a great deal of anxiety to his family.

It may be mentioned here that the Ranjan Daimary faction of the NDFB had earlier caused panic in the northern part of Sonitpur district on many occasions. After declaring a unilateral ceasefire, the NDFB (R) has kept away from activities which may harm its peace initiative, stated a senior leader of the Ranjan Daimary faction of the NDFB here.

When asked about the ongoing extortion demands in Sonitpur, B Naijab, publicity secretary of the NDFB (R) faction, denied such acts from their end. He said that the NDFB (R) is involved in a peace process with the Government, seeking a permanent solution to the vexed Bodoland issue. �A section of anti-ethnic people have been engaged by the government machineries including the Assam Police to derail the peace process,� Naijab alleged. �We urge all concerned to desist from such conspiracies,� he added.

Expressing his annoyance, a senior NDFB (P) leader, R Guthal said that a police team conducted a midnight search operation at his home, searching for one Jainal Abeddin Khan. Khan was later rescued from a remote Muslim locality in Darrang district.

Some miscreants have been carrying out kidnappings in the district since the last few months. Recently, a gang kidnapped a 17-year-old boy of Sirajuli Molan Pukhuri village under Dhekiajuli PS in the name of the NDFB. A sum of Rs 5 lakh was demanded as ransom. A month ago, one Kaji Jaffaruddin alias Mujjaffar of Tezpur Mazid Patty was kidnapped by a group in the name of NDFB. He was later rescued from the clutches of a Muslim couple in Guwahati.

Meanwhile, talking to this reporter, RS Thakur, CO, 44 Assam Rifles, Lokra, stated that a number of phone calls making extortion demands in the name of various armed groups have been traced during the last few days. But the major constraint is that people who are victims of such threats remain mum. �We urge them to cooperate with the security forces engaged in the district by disclosing their problems, otherwise it will not be possible to check this problem,� he maintained.