Incident happened in the heart of Simaluguri, gunman flees with girl toward Nagaland border

An unidentified gunman on Wednesday afternoon hijacked a van carrying 11 students of the Kendriya Vidyalaya, Nazira, from the heart of Simaluguri town in upper Assam’s Sivasagar district.

Later, he released 10 of the students and the driver, but took a Class-VI girl hostage and fled towards Nagaland.

The police found the abandoned school van at Seujpur village, about five km from Simaluguri, near the Assam-Nagaland border.

Home Secretary G.D. Tripathi told The Hindu that the incident took place around 2 p.m. when the gunman, inebriated, began a quarrel with some people and fired one round from a pistol.

“When the people tried to nab him, he brandished a second pistol to keep them at bay. As he was fleeing, he stopped the school van, which was coming from the opposite direction, and jumped into it. The police, on coming to know about the hijack at gunpoint, chased the vehicle,” he said.

The driver had the presence of mind to bring the van to a halt, driving into a roadside ditch at Seujpur after passing the Bihubor police station.

Mr. Tripathi said a search operation, led by Sivasagar Superintendent of Police Bijoy Giri Kuligam, had been launched