Assam police remained clueless of the whereabouts of five Sasastra Surakhya Bal jawans who were abducted from Mora-Dhansiri village under Rowta police station in Udalguri district of Assam close to India-Bhutan border by a group of unidentified armed miscreants on Sunday evening.
The body of a civilian resident of the locality, who was also abducted along with the SSB men, was later recovered from a neighbouring area on Monday.
The police, paramilitary forces and the army launched a massive combing operation in the area to trace the SSB men belonging to the B Company of 17th battalion entrusted to guard the India-Bhutan border in that sector.
So far 16 persons have been picked up for interrogation.
A senior Assam police oficial said: "The investigation is on to ascertain the motive behind the abduction of the SSB jawans. We are not certain about the involvement of any militant group behind it."
Udalguri is a bastion of the Bodo militant group, the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, that is now in ceasefire with the government of India and has a truce-time designated camp at Udalguri..
The abducted SSB jawans were identified as P Rabisingh, H Lakshap Singh, Thanhkolian Vaipaih, S Amongha Sangtam and cook Krishna Bahadur Chetri. There are two Nagas and two Manipuris among the jawans while the cook is a Nepali.
They were abducted from the house of one Babul Kalita from the SSB office surroundings in the area. The owner of the house Kalita was also taken along and his body was later dug out from a place called Harisinga.
Assam police DIG (northern range) A K Das and IGP SSB M L Choudhury are camping at Udalguri to oversee operations to rescue the SSB jawans.
The SSB was posted along the unguarded Indo-Bhutan border in the year 2004 in the wake of Royal Bhutan Army operation to evict United Liberation Front of Asom and NDFB militants from Bhutan in December 2003.