2.25 2050

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3 January 2050

Press release

Mass abductions hobble India’s guest talent programme

By Rajat Chaudhuri

DELHI: Close to a hundred job-seekers from newly flooded areas of neighbouring Bangladesh heading for Delhi were led away at gunpoint on Saturday night by armed intruders who boarded a train in the strife-torn borderland of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states of northern India. According to Heartland Radio, a local station of the leftist Subah (morning) militia which controls areas south of the Ganges, this is the third mass kidnapping in as many months.

Eyewitnesses told the radio station that the Kalashnikov-wielding kidnappers, who were speaking in a local dialect, boarded the Amity Express around midnight from Dildarnagar and soon began asking passengers by name for their Bangladeshi passports before herding them away towards the pantry car. The intruders got off the train by hacking into the onboard train control system in the abandoned drought-stricken area of Sakaldiha about 50 kilometres west of Varanasi. According to a railway employee, the kidnapped Bangladeshis were packed off in a tourist bus which was heading north towards Ghazipur. Two Indian passengers who provided resistance were shot and are being treated in a Subah militia-controlled hospital.

As a gesture of long-standing ties with climate-ravaged Bangladesh, the Indian government had launched its ambitious Highly Talented Displaced Peoples Programme, HitDip, which offers employment and resettlement opportunities to thousands of professionals and their families in the newly developing smart cities of west and southern India. However with famines and food scarcities plaguing this Asian giant, coupled with unprecedented internal migrations, the programme has come under severe attacks from separatist and other forces who are engaged in pitched battles with a much-weakened government.

A spokesperson for the Subah militia, which acts as an informal law-keeping arm of the provincial government in these far-flung areas, told UnFake Times, “Last night’s kidnapping seems to be the handiwork of the Ghazipur Five,” a dreaded criminal gang. According to Ratan Awasthi, director general of Uttar Pradesh police, “The notorious Ghazipur Five gang is involved in gunrunning and narcotics trade and has been recently involved in kidnapping migrants. They are pushed into slave labour in the opium factories north of the Ganges.”

Opium, which was strictly controlled till the early decades of the century, has become a drug of choice in south Asia because of its easy availability. The opium stupor is considered a great escape from all-round despair. Elon Yadav, state government minister of law and justice, said about the kidnap, “These criminals are aided by separatist elements from the north.” Vowing to break the nexus between secessionist forces and the drug trade, he requested more central government assistance for purchasing surveillance robots and autonomous weapon systems. “We need this tech to root out anti-national elements and bring the northern areas under the democratic process.”

A central team has been rushed to the area.

This article wasn’t written or edited by human editors.