In the last 4 months, this is the second instance where the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) has abducted field employees from OIL and ONGC.
On the wee hours of Wednesday night, three employees of ONGC were abducted from the rig site of ONGC in Lakwa, Charaideo district of Assam.
The abducted employees have been identified as Mohini Mohan Gogoi and Ritul Saikia, both junior technicians (production), and Alakesh Saikia, junior engineering assistant (production).
Last year, on December 21, two Quippo employees, drilling Superintendent Pranab Kumar Gogoi and radio operator Ram Kumar were also abducted by ULFA (I) from Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district.
The recent incidents have created great panic among the field workers associated with the companies. Many youths are engaged by these companies for on-field works who are now very much concerned about their lives.
Headline8 spoke to some of the employees said, “After these incidents, I’m concerned about myself because most of the time I work on the field. It’s high time to take strict steps to provide high security on the rigs.”
Biswajit Borah, an employee of ONGC said, “My parents are now very much concerned. Since morning they have called me quite a number of times asking me to take leave from my office as my duty is always on the field. Our security is not that strong to fight if someone comes with arms. I think now our lives are at high risk so I can just request our high authorities who seating in their air-conditioned rooms to take the matter seriously.”
Meanwhile, Debojit Sonowal from Duliajan who works on OIL said, “One of the abducted was a close friend of mine. I cannot explain the current situation of his family members. Most of our work is on-site, so OIL and ONGC must take proper steps to provide security to employees while they are working on official sites. Higher officials must give more importance to the field workers. Since I also work at sites most of the time; I feel unsafe and worry about my life. Now, this insecurity has forced me to opt for office work.”
One of the members of the OIL Employees’ Union stated, “Since long we have been demanding to provide us security at our OIL rigs. The security provided to us is not enough to stop an armed abduction as most of the security personnel are unarmed. It’s high time for OIL and ONGC to take proper decisions regarding our security.”
Seeing the concern of these employees various questions arise now- why have OIL and ONGC fail to provide safety to their employees in Assam, when both the companies are earning crores from the state?
Do the recent kidnapping incidents by the ULFA indicate that the militant group after being inactive for months is back to its old shelf?
Isn’t it high time the government takes strict steps to eradicate the militants terrorizing the state?
Will these recent incidents hamper Assam’s chance of becoming a major industrial hub of Southeast Asia?