Militants abduct 4 railway workers from Jiribam in Manipur

SILCHAR: Suspected militants abducted four workers engaged in the construction of the Jiribam-Tupul railway line from Tinglakbag locality in Manipur’s Jiribam subdivision, near the Assam border.

According to reports, around 10pm on Tuesday, a group of 10 suspected tribal militants carrying sophisticated weapons and dressed in camouflage gear walked into the camp of workers from Coastal Projects Ltd and beat up some workers before whisking way four of them at gunpoint. The workers at the camp are engaged in the construction of tunnel No 2 under the Jiribam-Tupul project.

The kidnapped workers have been identified as Subur Ali (32), Sanjay Kumar (39), Dilwar Hussain (22) and Rahim Uddin Majumdar (26).

The construction company authorities filed an FIR at Jiribam police station on Wednesday. Although police and security forces have launched an operation to rescue the workers and nab the miscreants, there was no news of their whereabouts till Thursday, the sources said.

The abduction has triggered a sense of fear among the workers, engineers and other officials engaged in the construction of 84-km Jiribam-Tupul (Imphal) broad gauge new railway line project under Northeast Frontier Railway in Manipur, the foundation for which was laid by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on November 2004. They alleged lack of proper security for the men involved in the project.

Reports said that at least 12 workers working on the project have been abducted by suspected militants since December last year. However, they were later released in exchange of hefty ransoms.

Meanwhile, the Manipur government last month decided to set up six new police stations to provide security for the rail project. Of the six police stations, three will exclusively be set up at Khongsang, Awang Khul and Keimai along the Imphal-Silchar highway.