Secret tunnel to Bangladesh: Assam police probe abduction case



Police in Barak Valley’s Karimganj district are investigating a case in connection with the abduction of a native of Shilua who, after his release, claimed to have been kidnapped to Bangladesh through a “tunnel” in a dense forest area close the international border at Kokaijur near Balia village in Karimganj South constituency on December 27.

Dilowar Hussain, 27, was allegedly kidnapped for a ransom of Rs 5 lakh, but later released after the arrest of one of the suspected ‘masterminds’ of the abduction.

Police sources said Dilowar’s family was asked to hand over the ransom money to Alim Uddin, who hails from Nayagram.

“However, the family lodged an FIR at Nilambazar police station on Tuesday following which Alim Uddin was arrested, produced before a court and remanded to police custody for two days. Dilowar was subsequently released by the kidnappers without taking ransom,” an investigation officer said.

Dilowar later told police that he was taken to Bangladesh through the tunnel after being abducted.

“The tunnel is nothing but an underground pipe (leading to the other side of the border) which was constructed by CPWD contractors in a thickly forested area next to the international border fence,” he said.

The police officer said a three-member special investigation team was initiated, and the case was being probed since Tuesday.

“The matter is under investigation,” he said when asked whether there were more people involved in the abduction.

Unconfirmed media reports said the “secret route”, which runs under the border fence with one end opening in Bangladesh, is used by miscreants to carry out various criminal activities.

Karimganj shares a 92-km border with Sylhet division of Bangladesh, of which around 41km is riverine.

According to reports, one “secret route” was unearthed in Karimganj district in May 2018.

Police unearthed the route at Madanpur under Karimganj North constituency after interrogating two cattle smugglers who confessed to having used it to smuggle cows and buffaloes to Bangladesh from Karimganj.

Meanwhile, NESO Advisor and former AASU leader Dr. Samujjal Bhattacharjya took to his official Twitter handle and posted the following tweet, "Discovery of secret tunnel in Karimganj connecting India & Bangladesh is horrific. It proves 0@mygovindia & @mygovassam’s callousness. A threat to security & sovereignty, endangering of the Assam border is an inexcusable crime. We demand total sealing of border as per Assam Accord."

(Edited by Andre Kongri)


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