|Deep Mandal, who has gone missing in Mizoram|
Aizawl, Nov 29 : A 25-year-old telecom network professional from Calcutta on assignment in Mizoram has been missing for almost a week, leading his family and employers to fear he has been kidnapped.
Deep Mandal, a resident of Shyampukur in north Calcutta, last spoke to a family member on the afternoon of November 22 and said he was at an installation 160km from the capital town of Aizawl.
Mizoram police said on Thursday that a militant outfit might have kidnapped Deep last Saturday while he was returning to Aizawl from Tuipuibari forest, where the Noida-based firm he works for has installed mobile phone towers for a telecom company.
“He and two others missing along with him are possibly being held hostage inside Bangladesh and we have learnt they are unharmed. There has been no demand for ransom so far, but we suspect the hand of the National Liberation Front of Tripura in this incident,” Rodingliana Chawngthu, the superintendent of police of Mamit district, told Metro.
The SP had led a police team to the site where the hired Maruti 800 (MZ08-1308) bringing Deep to Aizawl was found abandoned along with a pick-up truck trailing it.
The two missing drivers have been identified as Sanglianthanga and Lalzamliana. “The kidnapping apparently occurred between 7.30 and 8am on Saturday. We have launched a search for the trio,” the SP said.
Back home in Calcutta, Deep’s cousin Arnab Mandal has lodged a complaint with Shyampukur police station about the suspected kidnapping. His office has filed an FIR with West Phaileng police station in Mizoram.
“Deep had joined the private firm headquartered in Noida five months ago and this was his first official trip outside Bengal,” Arnab said. “He had left home on November 6 for Guwahati en route to Mizoram. We would speak over phone every day but his cell phone has been switched off since our last conversation on November 22.
Vijay Yadav, the company’s project manager in the Northeast, said no militant outfit had yet contacted his office for ransom. “We have been working in the Northeast for the past eight years and this is the first time such an incident involving our company has occurred,” he said.
Mizoram is the tiniest and supposedly the “most peaceful” state of the Northeast despite eight kidnapping cases being registered in 2012 along with 46 official complaints about extortion. This information is available on Mizoram police’s website.
The Young Mizo Association, the most influential youth organisation in Mizoram, and the Mizo Zirlai Pawl, which is the local name for the Mizo Students’ Association, have offered to send search teams to the site from where Deep is said to have been kidnapped.
Deep is the son of a pathology lab employee and did his BSc in Bankura before shifting to his aunt’s place in Shyampukur for a course in network technology.
“Deep is a hardworking boy and was so excited about his first outstation assignment. He vividly described to me over phone the natural beauty of the stretch from Guwahati to Aizawl,” Arnab, a software engineer, said.
Two Calcutta engineers, Debjit Sinha, 25, and his uncle Abhijit Sinha, 55, had been kidnapped in Manipur last August. They were freed after four days in captivity.