Dhubri/Kokrajhar, Feb. 24: An auditor of the State Bank of India was abducted by suspected Garo National Liberation Army when he was returning to Goalpara from Mendipathar in East Garo Hills in Meghalaya last night.
Over 100km away, two teachers of Don Bosco Institute were kidnapped from Kokrajhar, though the crimes are unrelated.
On the Goalpara abduction, sources in Goalpara SBI said Vinod Kumar Gupta, 55, who hails from Delhi but is posted in Guwahati, had been auditing the Mendipathar SBI branch for the past seven days and had put up at a hotel in Goalpara town.
The official probably chose to stay in Goalpara since Mendipathar does not have hotels.
“Mendipathar is about 70km from Goalpara town and Gupta used his personal Nano car to travel to and from the hotel. Hence, very few people of the SBI circle in Goalpara know about him. He usually left in the morning around 8am and returned by evening,” a source said.
A few witnesses of Choto-Matia, about 5km from Mendipathar, from where Gupta was whisked away on a motorcycle, reported the matter to Krishnai police station.
A police source in Krishnai said four armed GNLA militants were suspected to be behind Gupta’s abduction but the involvement of the Rabha Viper Army (RVA) and Ulfa could not be ruled out as they also have substantial presence along the Assam-Meghalaya inter-state border in Goalpara district.
Additional superintendent of police Sushanta Biswa Sarma said: “I am leading an operation in an area close to Mendipathar now and yet make any breakthrough in the abduction case.”
The Kokrajhar case came to light from a text message one of the hostages sent to one of his associate.
Debo Kumar Dutta and Nitu Kalita, the two teachers of Don Bosco Institute, both in their forties, were kidnapped by unidentified goons from Amguri-Balajan last evening.
They were returning to their rented house at Balajan Tinali, about 4km from the institute at Amguri, on a motorcycle (registration no. AS-01-AG 1966) when they went missing.
The police came to know about the abduction after one of Kalita’s associates received an SMS from him saying they had been abducted.
A police official in Kokrajhar refused to divulge much details but said it could be the handiwork of some militant organisation.
“A search operation is on and we are investigating different angles,” a police source said.