It has been an adventurous escape for a 12-year-old boy of Don Bosco School here, who fled from captivity in Chandel district, taking advantage of his militant-kidnappers lowering their guard, and reached home late Monday night with the help of police and some other students.
Rahul Takhellambam, a standard VII student, who was accosted by his kidnappers while he was returning to the hostel from the school in the afternoon of April 21, told the police that the armed militants kept him in a shack all these days. However, taking advantage of the laxity of the militants who were guarding him, he slipped through bamboo mat which formed the walls of the shack. The boy ran for his life and reached the Taphou market in Chandel district. As he boarded an Imphal-bound bus, some students of his school dragged him out and whisked him to a safe place. For, they knew the militants must be looking for Rahul on all escape routes.
The boys fed Rahul, who was emaciated having been virtually starved, let alone his mental torture. Later they informed the police and Chandel SP E. Priyoukumar personally took charge of Rahul on Monday. A police team brought him to Imphal and then handed him over to his anxious parents at Chingmeirong village in Imphal West district.
Officials said that as the boy was still under physical and mental strain he could not as yet be closely interrogated.
A few days ago some student organisations told journalists that a militant group had demanded a ransom of Rs 3 lakh from the school management for releasing Rahul.
In the insurgency-afflicted Manipur kidnapping students for ransom is nothing new. Police say there are hundreds of unreported cases of kidnapping businessmen's children. So most of the traders have started sending their children to school outside the State.
Meanwhile, one person kidnapped by an insurgent outfit on suspicion that his informing the police led to the arrest of its men and seizure of arms, was set free on Monday. The kidnappers later explained that he was not fully responsible for the incidents.