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A 200-metre tunnel has been found along the border of Bangladesh and India. The tunnel has connected Karimganj district of Indian state of Assam and Bangladesh, Indian police said.

The Indian law enforcement agency said trans-border criminals and smugglers would use the hidden tunnel for their illicit activities including human trafficking. The Indian side of the tunnel falls within the jurisdiction of Nilambazar police station in Karimganj upazila.

On Sunday (27 December 2020), Elim Uddin from Naya Gram asked Dilwar Hossain from neighbouring Shilua village to accompany him to a wedding ceremony. Elim took Dilwar through the tunnel that went under a forest. Later, Dilwar’s family received a phone call asking them to pay a ransom of Tk 500,000 to get back Dilwar. The family was directed to pay the money to Elim Uddin of Naya Gram. Realising that the call is from a Bangladeshi number, Dilwar’s elder brother filed a kidnapping complaint with Nilambazar police station on Wednesday (30 December 2020).

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Following the complaint, police began their investigation into the matter. As per advice of police, Dilwar’s family talked to the kidnappers to reduce the amount of ransom money but the kidnappers did not agree.

After this Karimganj police super (SP) Mayank Kumar Jha began the investigation. He arrested Elim Uddin and came to know about the tunnel in the forest from him. Then, Mayak Kumar along with additional superintendent of police Joti Ranjan Debnath and Nilambazar police station CI Anwar Hossain visited the tunnel.

When the kidnappers, who were in Bangladesh, learned about the matter, they released Dilwar Hossain. Upon his release, Dilwar told Indian police everything.

Later, Indian police informed the Border Security Force (BSF) about the tunnel. The BSF men closed the tunnel on the Indian side.

Police said other criminals will also be arrested very soon.

* The report has been rewritten for English edition of Prothom Alo by Shameem Reza