10 youths freed in Teknaf after paying ransom

HNILA CORRESPONDENT

Ten kidnapped youths returned to Teknaf’s Whykong Union on Wednesday night after their families paid a ransom of Tk 190,000 to the abductors.

The victims, all from the Raikhyang area, include two sons of Belal Hossain, Junaid (12) and Mohammad Nur (10); Shakil (15), son of Ledu Mia; Farid Alam (35); Akhtar (25); Ismail alias Sonaya (24); Saiyad Hossain Babul (26); and Fazl Kader (40).

They were abducted on Wednesday while working in the hills and released near Rohingya Camp No 22.

Ledu Mia, Shakil’s father, said his son was returned around 11:30 pm after a ransom of Tk 20,000 was paid. “I borrowed money to get my son back,” he said. All 10 victims were freed upon ransom payment.

Sheikh Kabir, a village police member, confirmed the abductions and subsequent release.

He noted that this month alone, 25 people from Hnila and Whykong unions have been kidnapped and released after ransoms were paid.

Describing the plight of locals, college student Fahim Saidi said, “We’re living in constant fear. On one side, there’s the violence on the Myanmar border, and on the other, these kidnappings.”

Hnila Union Parishad Chairman Rashed Mahmud Ali expressed concern over the rise in crime since the 2017 Rohingya influx.

He urged authorities to conduct raids on rented houses in villages where Rohingyas are suspected to be residing.

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