Police suspect extremist group ULFA (Independent)
Suspected members of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) have abducted three employees of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited employees from an oil rig in eastern Assam.
Police said the three men were taken away at gunpoint from a workover rig within Lakwa Tea Estate around 3 a.m. on Wednesday. The tea estate is in Charaideo district but the area is under the jurisdiction of the police in the adjoining Sivasagar district.
The abducted employees have been identified as Mohini Mohan Gogoi and Ritul Saikia, both junior technicians (production) and Alakesh Saikia, junior engineering assistant (production).
“Any group could have abducted the trio but the modus operandi points to the involvement of the ULFA-I. We have launched a search operation and intensified security at the exit points,” Sivasagar district’s Superintendent of Police Amitava Saikia told The Hindu.
“We have taken up the matter with our counterparts in Nagaland since the place of abduction is not far from the border with that State,” he said.
Extremist groups in Assam have had a history of executing hit-and-run operations from Nagaland besides taking hostages to the adjoining State and Myanmar beyond.
The ONGC employees were abducted exactly four months after the ULFA-I had kidnapped two employees of a New Delhi-based private oil exploration firm from the Kumchaika drilling site in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The outfit released the two employees more than a fortnight ago at two separate locations on the India-Myanmar border. ULFA-I military chief Paresh Baruah had reportedly released them on the condition that the firm would provide 5,000 jobs to local youth.
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