GUWAHATI, Oct 12: A four-member group of militants, suspected to be from ULFA(I) — the recalcitrant anti-talks faction of the outlawed outfit — is believed to be behind the abduction of a tea garden employee in Tinsukia district yesterday evening. The abducted employee has been identified as Gouranga Kumar Deb, a fitter of Shankar Tea Estate in Dhola.
The militants of the tea garden said the militants, who claimed they were from ULFA(I), were dressed in combat fatigues and were armed with AK-47 rifles.
“It was around 6pm. Three out of the four militants came inside and identified themselves as ULFA(I) cadres. They were dressed in camourflaged pants and multi-pocketed jackets and were carrying AK-47 rifles. They took one of our employees named Gouranga Kumar Deb with them,” the manager of Shankar Tea Estate said.
The ULFA(I) had reportedly slapped an extortion notice on owners of the tea garden and abducted the employee after the owners did not pay the demanded money, police sources said.
Although police and the Army have launched a massive operation to recue the abducted employee, they are yet to locate the whereabouts of the rebel group that had reportedly moved towards the Arunachal border.