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Miscreants fire at TE Manager

By Staff Correspondent

JORHAT, July 24 - Fear has gripped the workers of Seleng Tea Estate bordering Assam-Nagaland border under Selenghat police outpost under the Teok Police Station today after unidentified armed miscreants suspected to be Naga militants today reportedly opened fire at an assistant manager of the garden.

Senior Manager of the estate belonging to the Kolkata-based company � Popular Tie-up Private Ltd � Prodyut Phukon told The Assam Tribune this evening that workers of the garden were as usual doing their job in the sector 7, which is an outdivision of the garden (close to the inter-state border) since early morning under the supervision of assistant manager S Debnath.

Phukon said that at around 9 am a group of about 15 armed persons wearing camouflaged dress with black cloth tied on their heads were seen entering the boundary of the estate by some of the workers.

He said that they raised an alarm and told Debnath to leave the area and the workers too fled.

Phukon, quoting Debnath and the workers, said that as Debnath fled the area on his motorbike about four rounds were reportedly fired by the armed group but nobody sustained any injury.

The senior manager said that the police were informed and police personnel reached the spot and was carrying out investigation.

It may be mentioned here that the Rongkham border outpost of Assam police was about 1.5 km from the site of the incident. Senior police officials including the Jorhat Superintendent of Police V Nimbalkar visited the spot and took stock of the situation, a police source said.

The source said that Jorhat police officials contacted Mokokchung district police authorities (Nagaland district on other side of border), to inquire about movement of any armed group.

Phukon said that in recent times he was receiving extortion demand of Rs 60 lakh over phone with the caller claiming to be a member of a Naga insurgent group. He said in August last year a similar demand Rs 80 lakh in the name of Naga militant was received by him.

Phukon said formal complaint was lodged with the police last year, but this time police were yet to be informed.

He said that with adequate police presence now in the area after the incident he will ask the workers to continue work in the area from tomorrow.

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