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Assam, Arunachal CMs to blame if kidnapped oil men die: ULFA-I

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Guwahati, Jan 31 (IANS) Anti-talk outlawed terror outfit United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) has warned that the Chief Ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh would be responsible for any untoward fate of the two officials of private sector oil company it had abducted last month.

The ULFA-I, in a statement issued on Saturday night, claimed the government has planned delaying tactics instead of trying to get the two abducted men released.

“Instead of trying to get the two hostages released, the security forces, the central government’s intelligence agencies and others are continuing operations. In such a situation, if the two kidnapped officials die, the authorities would tactfully put the onus on the ULFA-I,” the statement said.

It said that in view of the security forces’ operations, if any unfortunate happening involving the two hostages occurred, the full responsibility have to be taken by the Chief Ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

According to the police in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, the security forces are still clueless about the kidnapped officials of Delhi-based Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Ltd.

The ULFA-I, in a statement last week, said that it has set February 17 to decide the fate of the two employees — Pranab Kumar Gogoi, a drilling superintendent, and Ram Kumar, a radio operator — whom it had kidnapped at gunpoint from the drilling site in Innao area of Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district on December 21 last year.

The ULFA-I, which is currently headed by its “commander-in-chief” Paresh Barua, had, in a media statement last week, said that if the drilling company “fails to take positive steps to secure the release of their employees by February 16, the outfit would take action against hostage Ram Kumar on February 17”.

“If Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Ltd fails to meet our demands, the company would not be allowed to operate in Assam and South East Asia,” it said, but did not specify its demands.

Arunachal Pradesh Police chief R.P. Upadhyaya told IANS over phone from Itanagar that the militants had earlier demanded Rs 20 crore to release the two.

According to the police, in a video reportedly released by the ULFA-I, Gogoi, a resident of Assam’s Sivasagar district, and Ram Kumar, who hails from Bihar’s Khagaria district, are heard saying that they are now in the captivity of the ULFA-I and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) and they urged Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to get them released.




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