Chintala Pydi Raju, the engineer from Visakhapatnam, who was kidnapped from lower Assam’s Baksa district on February 16, was released by his captors on Wednesday morning near Kumarikata in Baksa district of the Bodoland Territorial Area District (BTAD), close to the India-Bhutan border.
Mr. Raju, a quality control engineer of a Hyderabad-based private company engaged by the Power Grid Corporation of India, was abducted at gunpoint by a four-member gang in Baksa district. SP Bir Bikram Gogoi told The Hindu that Mr. Raju was in good health and his captors had not caused him any harm. Unable to bear with the pressure from an intense search operation, the captors left one by one, leaving Mr. Raju with only one of them. “There were four captors, who took Mr. Raju towards the Bhutan hills. Due to pressure mounted by us, the captors started leaving one by one. As supply lines to places the captors used for holding the engineer were cut off the last of them also left, leaving the engineer near Kumarikata.” Mr. Gogoi said the abduction was carried out by a breakaway faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (Ranjan Daimary). The gang included surrendered NDFB militants. The outfit demanded Rs. 5 crore in ransom from Mr. Raju’s company.
Visakhapatnam Staff Reporter adds: It was the end of a 12-day ordeal for Chintala Appa Rao and his wife Nagamani after they received the news that their only son had been released unharmed. The couple, understandably, has neither been eating nor having sound sleep for the past 11 days.
Their small house at Vadlapudi R.H. Colony at Kurmannapalem here was overflowing with anxious relatives and friends during the past few days. The news of the release of Pydi Raju resulted in jubilation among the family members. “I received the happy news from an official of the company and my brother-in-law, who has stayed put in Assam for over a week now,” Mrs. Nagamani said in a voice choked with emotion.
“The manager of the project Bhaskar Rao is bringing him back by car from the Bhutan border,” Pydi Raju’s paternal uncle Nagaraju said on phone from Assam. It could take a couple of days to return to Visakhapatnam.