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Kidnapped Assam traders released

By Correspondent

TURA, Jan 22 - Six Assam-based traders were released on Wednesday by their abductors five days after being kidnapped near Wageasi village in North Garo Hills.

The traders were kidnapped along with another victim, Tustu Paul, who managed to give the kidnappers the slip. The released traders are Manoranjan Sarkar, Putul Mukherjee, Piyush Biswas, Pradip Das, Bijoy Sarkar and Ganesh Basu.

It is believed the six victims were released mainly due to pressure from the people of Kharkutta and its neighouring areas, who sought the release of the victims.

Residents of Darangre in Assam and Kharkutta had appealed to the militants to release the seven victims while also launching their own search operation to rescue the victims. Police operations were also launched to rescue the victims.

�We searched all villages and jungles where we believed the traders were taken by the militants. We kept up the pressure on them all the time and it was a concerted effort on the part of the police as well as the public that they were forced to release the six victims�, said Wilness Marak, one of the participants of the search.

Local MLA, Cherak W Momin had also sought the release of the traders to ensure communal harmony between the two States was maintained.

The families of the kidnappers also came under threat from angry residents who threatened to burn down their houses if the victims were not released by this Friday. The villagers further targeted the houses where the kidnapping group had allegedly taken shelter.

Police said that the victims were released near Wageasi from where they proceeded to Darangre at about 7 pm on Wednesday.

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