Phidim, April 3:

Maoists today abducted chairman Bam Bahadur Yongya and vice-chairman Rana Bahadur Khadka of the Panchthar District Development Committee.

The two were kidnapped from Dhappatar of Ilam this afternoon while returning to Phidim from Jhapa. The Maoists, who were carrying out vehicle inspections, forced the two out of a taxi (Me 1 Ja 1017) and took them towards Mangalbare of Ilam.

They, however, released 11 others including Tara Lawati, wife of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Thapa) leader, Padma Sundar Lawati, after detaining the 11 for about an hour.

Chief District Officer of Ilam, Govinda Mani Bhurtel, confirmed the abduction incident.

A team of the Unified Security Command had left for Ranke Bazaar, two km east of the abduction site to receive the DDC chairman and vice-chairman but the Maoists pre-empted the team and took away the two before the security team could reach there.

Telephone lines except those of government offices remain disrupted following the incident. However, the SDM lines are operating. An official at the Eastern Divisional Headquarters of the Royal Nepalese Army at Itahari said that the headquarters had received information about the abduction.