Updated: April 23, 2021 7:27:39 pm
The Assam Police has said that the banned United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) is involved in the abduction of three employees of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) from a rig site in Lakuwa field of Sivasagar district in the early hours of Wednesday.
In a statement on Friday evening, Assam Police said that it had received specific information that the kidnapping was done by the ULFA (I). It added that it was done under “the command of SS Maj Ganesh Lahon @ Pruna Lahon and his accomplices namely, Aidyaman Asom @ Moniram Borgohain and Pradip Gogoi @ Akon.”
“Our investigation has revealed the role of ULFA-I in the incident,” said Additional DGP (Law and Order) GP Singh, who was rushed to Sivasagar to oversee the operations.
The statement added that police has arrested “14 linkmen and sympathisers who were helping the banned outfit directly or indirectly.”
“The include one person who was suspected to be an overground worker of the organisation,” said Singh.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday morning, ONGC had confirmed the abduction saying that three employees were taken by “unknown armed miscreants” in a company-owned vehicle, which was later found abandoned near the Nimonagarh jungles, close to the Assam-Nagaland border.
The employees were later identified as Mohini Mohan Gogoi (32) from Sivasagar district, and Alakesh Saikia (28) and Retul Saikia (38) from Jorhat district. All three work in the production department and stay at the ONGC Colony in Sivasagar.
ADGP Singh added that as per initial intelligence inputs, the abduction was done for ransom.
ULFA-I has not claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
The authorities said that search and rescue operations were being carried out in Nagaland since the vehicle was found abandoned near the Assam-Nagaland border.
On Wednesday, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had held an urgent meeting with Chief Secretary Jishnu Baruah and DGP Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta, directing them to take all possible measures for the release. Meanwhile, all security arrangements of (Oil India Ltd) OIL and ONGC infrastructures, especially those located in interior places, are being reviewed.
In December last year, ULFA(I) and Myanmar-faction of NSCN (K) had abducted two employees of the Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Limited from Kumchaikha hydrocarbon drilling site near Innao in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh. They were released earlier this month.
ONGC is India’s biggest oil and gas exploration and production company. The company has been exploring and producing oil and gas in Upper Assam since the early 1960s.
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