Terror outfit ULFA-I releases hostage after 104 days

Itanagar/Guwahati, April 3 (IANS) The outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) has released one of the two abducted employees of a New Delhi-based private oil and gas company after 104 days, official sources said on Saturday.

However, unconfirmed reports said that ULFA-I has released the two hostages in different locations of Arunachal Pradesh.

Arunachal Pradesh’s Additional Director General of Police Ravindra Yadav told IANS over phone that they are verifying the facts.

A defence statement said that during a border patrol, Assam Rifles troopers in South Arunachal Pradesh intercepted an individual crossing the India-Myanmar border in Changlang District on Saturday.

“The individual was identified as Pranab Kumar Gogoi, an employee of Quippo Oil and Gas Infra Ltd, who was earlier kidnapped from Inau in Arunachal Pradesh on December 21 last year by ULFA-I. The individual has been handed over to Arunachal Pradesh Police at Longvi,” the statement said.

Another Arunachal Pradesh police official said that after a brief interrogation and Covid-19 testing Gogoi would be handed over to either the Assam police or to his family.

Gogoi, drilling superintendent and Ram Kumar, a radio operator of Delhi-based Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Ltd, were abducted from the company’s Kumchaikha hydrocarbon drilling site in Arunachal Pradesh.

While Pranab Gogoi hails from Sivasagar district of Assam, Ram Kumar is from Bihar.

Earlier Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma other Ministers and Congress leaders including the party’s deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi have seperaely appealed to ULFA-I leaders to release the two hostages of a Delhi-based private oil company.

The anti-talk militant outfit — ULFA-I — had earlier set February 17 to “take action” if the concerned authorities did not take appropriate steps to secure the release of the oil company officials.

The ULFA-I earlier in several statements had threatened action against the two employees of the private oil company, who were abducted from the drilling site in Innao area of Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh.

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