Assamese trader flees abductors' den

SILCHAR: BaharUddinBarbhuiya (28), a betel-leaf planter of Hailakandi district in Assam, who was whisked away by miscreants at gunpoint on July 7, managed to escape from the captivity of his abductors on Tuesday.

Police said Bahar was kept somewhere in the jungles of Mizoram near the Assam border by suspected militants. However, on early Tuesday when Mizoram police were on a hunt for the miscreants in the area, they ran away from their den, leaving Bahar behind.

He then escaped from the place and trekked through jungles for hours to reach the Assam side of the border and called up his family to inform them about his whereabouts. His family members, Assam Police and CRPF started a search in the jungles in and around Ramnathpur in south Hailakandi and found him. They escorted him to Hailakandi police station and later he was admitted to a local civil hospital.

A visibly weak Bahar said he was held captive virtually without any food over the past fortnight. He added the kidnappers would torture him and shift him from one place to another every night in the hills covered by thick forest. He is undergoing treatment at the hospital as per doctors' advice. Family sources said the abductors demanded Rs 40 lakh as ransom for his release, but no money was paid to them. His release came as a big relief to his family, which is fasting during the month of Ramzan. Police said the United Democratic Liberation Army (Udla), a mixed rebel outfit of Bru (Reang) and Bengali Muslims, were suspected to be behind the kidnapping of Bahar, who hails from Betcherra village in south Hailakandi.