Vol. 5 Num 1104 Mon. July 09, 2007  
Front Page

Kidnapped Danida staff rescued after 2 weeks

Law enforcers yesterday rescued Danida official Shahid Suman near a stream in the remote forest of Thanchi upazila after two weeks of his abduction.

A 20-member patrol team of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) found Suman near Sampajhiri stream, 110km away from Bandarban district. The BDR suspected that the kidnappers left the Danida staff in the face of their guerilla operation.

Suman was found ill at the time of rescue at 10:30am. He was immediately taken to the Chhoto Modok BDR camp by stretcher and boat as there was no facility for helicopter landing in that remote area.

Later, Suman was flown to Chittagong Combined Military Hospital (CMH) at 5:15pm from the BDR camp 10km off the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

Sources said Suman's legs were swollen and scratched from long walks in the hilly area. Suman is a patient of diabetes and blood pressure and had to spend the two weeks without medicine. CMH sources however said his blood pressure was normal.

Our Bandarban correspondent reports: The kidnappers left Suman at Sampajhiri as the law enforcers continued their combing operations and cordoned the kidnapers' den between BDR camps at Chhoto Modok and Yangrai last Friday.

Danida Programme Officer Suman was abducted on June 25 along with his driver during an official visit to Kya Buri Para village in Thanchi upazila.

Later, Danida driver Md Hanif was rescued unconscious some 40km away from Kya Buri Para. The law enforcers recovered seven sets of combat uniform and utensils from the place.

More than 400 law enforcers including commando troops continued their operations in the rugged terrains of the hilly region to rescue Suman ignoring hailstorm and continuous rain. They cordoned around 100km area in the dense forest of Thanchi.

The law enforcers arrested 26 people in the area following the kidnap and revealed after quizzing them that five of them were involved with the abduction.

Local journalist Anupam Marma meanwhile said the people were scared and did not come to the local market following the abduction. But they started coming to the market after Suman was rescued.

A BDR press release said a 15-member patrol team found three persons suspiciously hanging around Pakkupara area just under the foot of a hill on July 5. The miscreants hiding up the hill suddenly started firing at the law enforcers.

The BDR also fired back and the gun battle continued for 40 minutes. At one stage habildar Mohammad Ali caught one of the fleeing criminals.

"I am very happy that Suman is safely rescued just within two weeks. I am going to meet him tomorrow as I got the permission," said Suman's wife Kamrun Nahar. She thanked the law enforcers, local people, Danida officials for their cooperation.