On Thursday, banned United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) stated it will release ONGC employee Ritul Saikia.
The banned insurgent group also stated that he will be released within the next four days.
Ritul Saikia is an employee of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and was abducted from Assam last month.
The outfit’s decision came minutes after Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma made an appeal to ULFA-I Chief Paresh Baruah at a press conference.
“Saikia’s parents, his wife and infant son are very distressed since his abduction. As an Assamese, it is my humble request to Paresh Baruah to release him at the earliest,” Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
The ULFA-I Chief responded minutes later and spoke to journalist Atanu Bhuyan.
“ULFA Chief Paresh Baruah responds to Assam CM @himantabiswa appeal. He told me that Ritul Saikia, the abducted ONGC employee will be released in 3 days.” Atanu Bhuyan wrote on his official Twitter page.
ULFA Chief Paresh Baruah responds to Assam CM @himantabiswa appeal. He told me that Ritul Saikia, abducted ONGC employee will be released in 3 days.
— atanu bhuyan (@atanubhuyan) May 20, 2021
The abductee, Saikia is a Junior Engineer Assistant. He was abducted along with Mohini Mohan Gogoi (Junior Engineer Assistant) and Alakesh Saikia (Junior Technician).
They were abducted in the wee hours from ONGC’s workover rig site in Sivasagar district of Assam on April 21.
However, Alakesh Saikia and Mohini Mohan Gogoi were rescued on April 24 by security forces from Nagaland, close to the Indo-Myanmar border.
Earlier on May 14, ULFA-I issued a seven-point list of demands to the three major oil companies, ONGC, Oil India Limited, and Indian Oil Corporation Limited.
The demands included 95 percent quota in jobs for indigenous residents of Assam.
On Tuesday, Baruah had confirmed that Saikia was still in the outfit’s custody and was safe.
The state Chief Minister responded to the demands at his Press conference on Thursday. he underlined that people often forget how Assam benefited due to the petroleum companies. The state earns ₹18,000 crores from the oil sector annually and anyone who wants the sector to contribute more to Assam should hold discussions with the state government which can raise it with the Centre.