The Assam-based terrorist organization, the United Liberation Front of Asom – Independent (ULFA-I) has said it will execute next week two people who were abducted last December. The ultimatum was given yesterday after the first deadline expired. The government has begged against the “shame” of the state by shedding the blood of the innocent.
The banned dress run by Paresh Barua threatened to take the “last step” against two Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure employees. Both, drilling supervisor Pranab Kumar Gogoi and radio operator Ram Kumar, were abducted by insurgents on December 21 last year from the Kumchaikha hydrocarbon drilling site in Changlang, Arunachal Pradesh. While Mr. Gogoi is a native of Assam, Mr. Kumar comes from Bihar.
“While the representatives of Quippo, after our negotiations between 16 and 19 February, failed to provide any fruitful solution to our claims, we have decided to adhere to our initial decision and, accordingly, we will take final action against the two employees, “said a statement issued yesterday in Assamese in the ULFA-I letter. It was addressed to the people of Assam, the governments of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and the families of the kidnapped duo.
The dress reportedly demanded a ransom of Rs 20 crore for the pair’s release and set February 16 as the deadline.
Gurugram-based Quippo was hired by Oil India (OIL) for drilling operations. ULFA has now urged other Quippo employees to stay away from work and, instead, put pressure on OIL to rehabilitate them.
“If our instructions are not followed, then in case of any unfortunate situation, the employees, the authorities of Quippo, OIL, Assam and the governments of Arunachal Pradesh will be responsible for the consequences,” the dressing said, according to PTI.
Although security forces could not determine their whereabouts, sources told NDTV that they were being held somewhere in neighboring Myanmar, where a united front of the banned clothing South East Asia United National Liberation Front (UNLFWSEA) and authorities other rebels have base camps.
Friday’s statement was also issued on behalf of the banned National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) and was signed by Rumel Asom, a member of his advertising wing. He said that if negotiations become futile, Quippo will be banned from operating anywhere in “Southeast Asia”.
Praying with ULFA-I, Assam Cabinet Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said yesterday, “Please refrain from taking any action that could embarrass three million Assam people in the eyes of the world.”
He cited previous examples of violence by the organization that mistreated Assam.
“So, I appeal, Paresh Baruah, with folded hands, to refrain from any bloodshed and release the two abducted persons. They are innocent,” Mr Sarma said during a televised interview.
In the event of an unfortunate incident, the world will again “look at the Assamese as (members of) the Taliban. We do not want any more bloodshed in the land of India or Assam.”
The families of the abducted men had recently called Mr Barua’s brother who, too, appealed to the ULFA-I leader for mercy, the PTI reported.
The ULFA was formed in 1979 to create a sovereign Assam through an armed movement. Mr. Barua was once the chief of his military wing. Since a split in the organization in 2011 over the leadership’s decision to hold peace talks with the government, he has led the ULFA-I faction.