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Kidnapped road construction workers “recovered”: Arunachal police

Three workers - Konch, Mahato and Banphua Wangpan (29) - engaged in the construction of Longkhaw-Pumao road under PMGSYwere abducted by a group of 5-6 militants of NSCN (K-YA) from the labour camp located at the construction site on January 31 night and taken towards Nagaland, police had said.

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Itanagar: Two of the three road construction workers abducted by suspected NSCN (K-YA) militants from Pumao in Longding district of Arunachal Pradesh have been “recovered” from a forest area, police said on Sunday.

The two workers – Ramasish Mahato (35) and Hiren Konch (31) – were found from the forest stretch under Pongsau circle of the district bordering Nagaland on Saturday night, the police official said, but declined to disclose whether there was an exchange of money for their ‘release’.

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Three workers – Konch, Mahato and Banphua Wangpan (29) – engaged in the construction of Longkhaw-Pumao road under PMGSYwere abducted by a group of 5-6 militants of NSCN (K-YA) from the labour camp located at the construction site on January 31 night and taken towards Nagaland, police had said.

However, Wangpan, a native of Longkhaw village of Longding district, returned a day later after being released by his abductors in the jungle of Jahsia Nayasa village in the adjacent Mon district of Nagaland. Since then, the whereabouts of JCB drivers Konch and Mahato was not known.

While Konch is a resident of neighbouring Assam, Mahato hails from Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. Wangpan is said to be a relative of self-styled Lt Col of the underground group Botai Wangsu. “That must have been the reason for his release,” a police officer had said.

“After tremendous efforts, Longding police has achieved success in the recovery of two abductees in the recent Pumao kidnapping case,” Longding SP Vikram Harimohan Meena said, while adding that they were “recovered” from the remote forest area.

“They are visibly in good health and have proceeded for medical checkups,” the SP added. Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Police Headquarters here said that there might have been “some negotiation” between the Naga militant group and the road construction agency for the ‘safe’ release of their employees. He, however, did not share much detail.

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