Guwahati: Separatist groups in Assam are outsourcing terror by hiring students to carry out kidnappings and seek ransom to fund militant activities, police said.
Assam has, of late, witnessed a series of abductions - most of them blamed on militant groups like the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
The disturbing trend is that most abductions were carried out by youths, some of them just of out of their teens and studying in colleges. Clearly, they have been engaged by militants with promises of big money.
"It is true there are instances of militant groups contacting youths to carry out kidnappings and then hand over the captor to the outfit," police Inspector General Pallab Bhattacharya said.
On Monday, Rohan Dutta, a 20-year-old management student and son of a doctor in Guwahati, was kidnapped by about six armed men.
The gang entered Rohan`s home, tied the family members, looted the house and took the victim away at gunpoint.
After 36 hours in captivity, police commandos rescued Rohan from Dhekiajuli in northern Assam and arrested nine young men, including two college students.
"The arrested youths were in the age group of 19 to 23 and two of them are college students," the police officer said.
One of then, Parashar Das, is a second year bio-chemistry student at a city college.
"Consumerism coupled with the lure for easy money could be reasons for youths getting trapped in criminal activities," Bhattacharya said.
"The need of the hour is proper parenting. The society at large should respond to such evil designs."
Victim Rohan said, "I think I was kidnapped purely for money. I am still unable to reconcile to the fact that I almost escaped death."
There were instances in the past when groups like the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) hired students to carry out bombings - in some cases they were paid mobile phones or even second hand motorcycles as reward.
"Using vulnerable youths to execute terror designs seem to be the latest modus operandi of militant groups," another police officer said.
As most bombers and shooters from the rebel groups are known to police, the outfits are now hiring unknown faces to avoid being caught or easily identified by security forces.