Update: Almost three weeks after two men abducted from Bhur in Gelephu returned following payment of ransoms, Indian police have arrested eight men alleged to be involved in the kidnapping.

Indian police arrested three men aged 43, 25 and 20 from the outskirts of Bengaluru city on March 15. According to reports in an Indian newspaper, Deccan Chronicle, the trio were found residing in a makeshift hut and were working as agriculture labourers using fake identities.

One of the arrested men was identified as a member of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), reported the Deccan Chronicle. Bengaluru police had told the paper that the kidnapers are part of an eight member gang in Assam.

Prior to the trio’s arrest, Assam police had arrested five other men involved in the kidnapping. Police had recovered Nu 0.38 million (M) from them.

On March 7, the father of the abducted student, Keshar Man Rai, had filed a complaint with the Assam police after which a manhunt was launched. While the five alleged kidnapers were arrested immediately in Assam, three managed to escape to Bengaluru. The escapees were tracked down.

A sixteen-year-old class X student and Keshar Man Rai’s driver were kidnapped on February 22, while they were feeding pigs in Bhur. Five days after the incident two of them were released following payment of INR 2M in ransom.

Meanwhile it was learnt that the three men arrested from Bengaluru are in Assam police custody along with the other five men. It is not known whether the ransom money was recovered from the kidnapers.

Nirmala Pokhrel