3 ONGC Staffers Kidnapped by Militants in Assam’s Sivasagar
The abducted ONGC employees have been identified as Retul Saikia, Alakesh Saikia and Mohini Mohan Gogoi.
Three workers of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) have been allegedly kidnapped by a suspected extremist group from Romonia workover rig inside Lakuwa tea estate under Simalguri police station of ’s Sivasagar district around 3 am on Wednesday, 21 April.
The abducted youths have been identified as Retul Saikia, Alakesh Saikia and Mohini Mohan Gogoi.
The development came days after banned outfit ULFA-I released two employees of Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Limited after having abducted them from Arunachal’s Changlang district on 21 December.
Speaking to this correspondent, Sivasagar SP Amitava Sinha said that the kidnapping was reported at 5.30 am. “According to preliminary investigation, a group of five armed militants were involved in the abduction,” he added.
All security forces in the region and the bordering Nagaland have been alerted and massive search operations are underway, Sinha said.
A source said all exits leading to Nagaland were being monitored. “It is suspected that the militants would use the route of Mon district in Nagaland to take the youths to Myanmar. The Assam Rifles unit in Nagaland has also been alerted,” the source said, adding, “ULFA-I has claimed responsibility for the abduction.”
Earlier, ULFA-I reportedly released Quippo employees after intense rounds of negotiations for ransom. Initially, ULFA-I had demanded Rs 20 crore, but it was not clear if any amount was paid to the outfit to secure their release.
ONGC spokesperson Jamil Passa said that the abducted employees – junior engineers Retul Saikia and Mohini Mohan Gogoi, and junior technician Alakesh Saikia — were from the production department.
“They were taken away in one of our ambulances,” Passa said, adding, “The management has reached out to the victims’ families who live at ONGC Colony in Sivasagar.”
We have lodged a police complaint, he added.
Meanwhile, the ambulance was found abandoned near Nimonagarh jungle, close to the Assam-Nagaland border. Lakuwa Tea Estate, where the kidnapping took place, borders Nagaland and the Charaideo district of Assam.
(This story was first published in Eastmojo and has been republished with permission)
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