Gana Adhikar News, Guwahati and Kohima, May 22 : Hours after abducted ONGC employee from Assam Ritul Saikia was released by ULFA from its captivity earlier this morning, Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma ‘heartily’ welcomed the development and hoped for a new dawn of peace in the state. Ritul was the sole remaining captive of ULFA (I) among three ONGC (Oil & Natural Gas Co) employees the Paresh Baruah-led armed organization had abducted on April 21,
” Heartily welcome release of Ritul Saikia, ONGC employee abducted by ULFA, early today! Grateful to Honble UHM (Union Home Minister) Amit Shah for constant guidance. Hope an era of peace & development is firmly established in the state with cooperation of one and all. Pray to Almighty for His Blessings”, said Dr Himanta in a brief statement following Ritul’s release.
On April 21, three ONGC employees were abducted by ULFA cadres from an oil ring in Upper Assam. Two of them were rescued by security forces near Nagaland-Myanmar border while they were being moved across the border by their captors. The militants managed to escape from the security interception operation with Ritul Saikia in their captivity. Since then the ONGC employee had remained in ULFA captivity somewhere in the north-west frontier of Myanmar until his release in a Myanmar bordering village in Nagaland’s Mon district early this morning.
ULFA(I)’s commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah had on May 20 promised to free Ritul after the new Chief Minister of Assam Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma had appealed for his release and to create a conducive atmosphere for peace talks.
Political observers in the region say this latest gesture from ULFA(I) chief Paresh comes close on the heels of its unilateral declaration of ceasefire for the next three months and signals its willingness to keep the doors of political talks with New Delhi open.