Abducted engineers kin protest in Manipur

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Imphal (Manipur), Nov.14 (ANI): Kin and employees of provincial electricity department staged a protest here on Friday demanding the release of the engineers, who were abducted by suspected rebels.

Some unidentified gunmen abducted the two engineers of the state's electricity department on November 12.

Though none of the rebel group claimed responsibility for the abduction, local media reported that the abductors belonged to the banned United People's Party of Kangleipak (UPPK).

Family members said the two engineers were abducted and the abductors said they wanted a ransom of rupees 150 million (Approx 3.3 million US dollars) for their release.

"They were abducted for rupees 15 crore ($3.3 million) ransom...they want this money from their department and because of that the duo has been abducted," said Kamala Devi, a daughter of the victim.

Relatives also demanded early release of abducted engineers.

"All my children are very small and too young to get married. They are all students. I'm also an employee and their father too, and we have sent our sons outside to study...without any second thought I've informed my children out there, that we had befallen a very hard time...with all this thoughts and tensions I even thought that I'm about to die, and what should I be doing now," added Sorojini Devi, the wife of the victim.

Officials said that they didn't receive any ransom call from any outfit.

"An unlawful organisation has claimed it and we only came to know about it through newspapers as we don't receive any demand letter...we can say that we are quite dark about this," said N. Sarat Singh, the chief engineer of the state electricity department.

In Manipur, more than half-a-dozen guerrilla groups are fighting more than 50,000 troops, some battling for freedom and others for political autonomy. The conflict has left more than 20,000 people dead.

They accuse New Delhi of plundering the region's mineral and forest resources, neglecting the local economy and giving them back nothing in return. (ANI)

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