GUWAHATI: ONGC employee Ritul Saikia is in the custody of United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I), said outfit’s commander-in-chief Paresh baruah.
Talking exclusively to News Live chief managing editor Syed Zarir Hussain over phone, Baruah said, “Ritul is in our custody. He is quite well now. Through your channel, I would like to inform that Ritul will return home soon if the pandemic doesn’t hinder the process.”
Baruah’s reaction came following Assam chief minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma’s visit to the abducted ONGC employee’s family at Titabor in Jorhat district.
Ritul Saikia, along with two other employees of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited, Mohini Mohan Gogoi and Alakesh Saikia, were on April 21 kidnapped by suspected militants of the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) from the Lakwa oilfield in Sivasagar district along the Assam-Nagaland border.
Mohini Mohan Gogoi and Alakesh Saikia were rescued by security forces on April 24 after an encounter with the abductors near the India-Myanmar border in Mon district of Nagaland.
I share the sorrow of every member of my family.
Ritul Saikia’s family is not alone in this time of despair. Their grief is ours too.
Spent time with the worried family. I assured them that we are leaving no stone unturned to rescue & bring Saikia back home safely. pic.twitter.com/MMNRyCOsvx
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) May 18, 2021
“For his release, various persons have contacted (us) for mediation. Some people have brought information. We are trying to bring him back hale and hearty.
“The government is firmly behind his family in these trying times and is doing its best to rescue Saikia at the earliest,” said Himanta Biswa Sarma.
They (abductors) have placed some demands like reservation for locals in jobs, and nobody has any objection to such demands, the chief minister said.
“But there are other things that have not been made public and it has to be seen how many of them can be accepted. I cannot tell those in front of the media, but we are trying,” Sarma said.