Indian road builders fired at, abducted in Assam

Suspected militants from the Dimasa National Liberation Army (DNLA) kidnapped construction workers building a road in Assam State in northeast India on Wednesday night (26 February).

According to reports in the Indian media, the incident took place near the town of Mailoo in the centre of the state.

Bikram Gogoi, a superintendent with Assam police, said: "A group of 10-to-12 gunmen entered the camp of a construction company at 11.45pm. The militants, armed with AK-47 rifles, fired at some workers engaged in the construction of a road. They also manhandled some of the workers. The workers ran away from the spot and somehow saved themselves."

According to reports, the suspected militants abducted some of the workers and took them to a jungle area, along with a water tanker and another company vehicle. One of those abducted said later: "They threatened that if the ransom money is not paid then they will come again and kill us."

A police team from Dima Hasao district later reached the spot and rescued the workers. Police have now launched a search operation against the militants.

The attack followed an earlier attempt to extort money from the company’s management.

The DNLA are among a number of separatist groups in Assam. It was formed in April 2019 to "revamp the national struggle and fight for the liberation of a sovereign, independent Dimasa nation". It is opposed to India’s decision to compile a National Register of Citizens, and to build a detention camp for non-citizens in Dima Hasao.

Image: The DNLA announced its formation with a press release in April last year (DNLA)

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