Railway supervisor abducted in Meghalaya

Shillong, June 26 (IANS) Suspected tribal rebels abducted the supervisor of a firm working on a railway project in Meghalaya’s North Garo Hills district bordering Assam, police said Wednesday.

J. Narayan Rai, 60, the supervisor of Rajpat MKJ Engineering, was abducted by six unidentified armed men between Tilapara and Bakenang area under Mendipathar police station Tuesday evening, a police official said.

The Northeast Frontier Railway is developing a 19.47 km broadgauge line from Assam’s Dudhnoi to Mendipathar in East Garo Hills.

“Six men armed with pistols abducted Rai while he was supervising the construction of a railway bridge. We are investigating whether any ransom has been demanded,” Ricky Dkhar, district police chief of North Garo Hills, told IANS.

Both Meghalaya and Assam Police have launched a hunt to locate Rai.

Though no rebel group has claimed responsibility, intelligence agencies here suspect it to be the handiwork of Rabha Viper Army, a rebel group in the Rabha tribe-inhabited areas in Assam’s Goalpara district and certain areas of Meghalaya’s East and West Garo Hills districts.

“Though there are no specific inputs, we suspect the Rabha Viper Army carried out the abduction,” an intelligence official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

The Rabha Viper Army was formed with the support of Assam-based secessionist group United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in 2008.

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