Express news service
GUWAHATI: State authorities with the help of villagers in the Mon district of Nagaland rounded up nearly 500 people, including security guards, and searched for the last of three employees of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation ( ONGC) kidnapped by the United Front for the Liberation of Assam (ULFA).
“We have restricted some areas and involved village guards and residents of a number of villages in the search operation in consultation with village authorities,” Nagaland officials said.
Officials further said: “I hope we have a breakthrough soon. The two rescued workers were handed over to Assam police on Saturday evening.”
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Junior engineer assistant Alakesh Saikia and junior technician Mohini Mohan Gogoi were rescued by security forces following a shootout with a combined group of activists from ULFA and the Yung Aung faction of the National Socialist Council from Nagaland near the village of Totokchingnyu to Monday evening.
ULFA said on Saturday that the three workers had been handed over to the villagers following the team’s concerns about their safety amid the shooting.
“As the security forces have not yet said anything about the fate of the third person, we suspect that she was either killed or kept hidden by them,” ULFA said in a statement.
But the two rescued employees denied ULFA’s claim that all three had been handed over to the villagers.
READ ALSO | ULFA inquired about the health of ONGC employees at the drilling site in Assam, abducted 3 young and fit
“When we were crossing a road in the dark, we fell under a barrage of fire from security personnel. Two of us jumped into a bush by the side of the road. When we got up after two hours. , we did not find Ritul, “Gogoi mentioned.
He said militants continued to shoot staff as they sneaked into the jungle.
The three people were abducted Wednesday evening from a drilling site in the Lakwa field of Sivasagar district in Assam. The activists had inquired about the health of the eight employees of the site before removing the trio “most suitable”. They also asked if there were any non-Assamese.
The shooting site in Mon is approximately 20-25 km from the India-Myanmar border. ULFA and other militant formations in the North East operate from neighboring country soil.
Meanwhile, residents of Nangol, the village of the missing employee in Titabor in the Jorhat district of Assam, urged ULFA to ensure his safe return. They asked ULFA military chief Paresh Baruah to clearly explain the group’s position on the man’s whereabouts.