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Abducted ONGC Employee Ritul Saikia Released

Ritul Saikia, an ONGC employee who had been abducted, was liberated on Friday morning by the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I).

Saikia was reportedly published by the outlawed outfit near the Nagaland-Myanmar border district of Mon.

Earlier this month, Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma urged ULFA(I) chief Paresh Baruah to release the ONGC employee who is being held captive.

Within minutes of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s ‘humble plea’ to ULFA-I Chief Paresh Barua to free abducted ONGC employee Ritul Saikia from the outlawed outfit’s custody, the outfit announced Saikia will be freed in one to four days.

According to ULFA Commander-in-Chief Baruah, who shared the details with a local Assam news channel, it is more than 200 percent verified that Ritual Saikia will return home safely.

CM Sarma said during the press conference that it would not be wise to make it impossible for oil firms working out of Assam to operate, as they are a significant source of revenue for the Assam government, in contrast to the tea industry, which has recently contributed little to the state coffers.

On May 18, CM Sarma met Ritul Saikia’s parents, mom, and four-month-old baby at their Titabar, Jorhat, home. The Chief Minister visited Ritul Saikia’s family only one day after taking charge as Assam’s Chief Minister on May 10. He met them on May 11 during his Majuli visit.

Ritul Saikia and two other ONGC workers were abducted on April 21 from ONGC’s Lakwa oil field in Assam’s Sibsagar district. The other two workers, Mohini Mohan Gogoi and Alakesh Saikia were rescued three days after being abducted by ULFA-I during a joint action conducted by Assam Police, the Army, and Nagaland Police on April 24. They were rescued from Nagaland’s Mon region.

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Written by Ankur J Kakoti

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