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Gogoi seeks HM’s intervention for safe return of kidnapped oil firm

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Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi Sunday urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to take action for the safe release of the two oil sector staff from the clutches of ULFA(I), even as the banned militant outfit said it has ”deferred” decision to take any step on the abducted employees and will continue to hold talks with the authorities for a positive outcome.

Two employees of Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Ltd were abducted by the insurgents of the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent on December 21 last year from Kumchaikhahydrocarbon drilling site in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh.

The outfit had reportedly demanded a ransom of Rs 20 crore for the release of the two employees and had set February 16as the deadline which was later extended, Gogoi mentioned in the letter.

The MP, however, did not mention the extended date.

Recently, the ULFA(I) has threatened to take an ”ultimate step” against the two persons, the MP said in his letter.

The ULFA(I) in an email to PTI had said that talks with the Quippo authorities held from February 16 to 19 have failed to reach any favourable conclusion and an ultimate step on the two will be taken next week”.

United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I)chief Paresh Barua Sunday informed the general secretary of Gauhati Press Club (GPC) Sanjoy Ray over the phone that discussions on the release of the two employees were continuing and ”We hope that there will be a positive outcome soon”.

However, Barua said, there has to be a ”definite time-frame to resolve the issue and negotiations for their release can not go on endlessly”.

Initially, the ULFA(I) chief had called the GPC president Manoj Kumar Nath asking him to provide a platform to him for clarification of certain facts allegedly’misinterpreted in a certain section of the media’ on theoutfit’s stand on the fate of the two abducted persons.

Accordingly, mediapersons gathered at the GPC whereBarua was expected to brief the media over the telephone which wasput on amplifiers, but he could not contact the particularnumber on which he was supposed to brief journalists.

Barua subsequently called another journalist who waspresent at the GPC, who connected him to the club’s generalsecretary Sanjoy Ray and he was briefed by the ULFA(I) leader.

According to Ray, the ULFA(I) chief also said that hewelcomes and respects the role of the civil society and theirconstructive suggestions to resolve the issue.

Barua said that a section of the media had misinterpretedthe outfit’s earlier statement about ”the step” to decide thefate of the two abducted persons.

Gaurav Gogoi in his missive to the union home ministersaid, ”Given the sensitive nature of the matter and thepotential threat to the lives of the two persons, I urge youto take the matter into immediate consideration forappropriate action.

”The government should ensure safe return of the twoemployees. Eagerly looking forward to your response.” Senior minister of Assam Himanta Biswa Sarma had urgedULFA(I)’s Commander in Chief Paresh Barua ”with folded hands”to release the…



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