Tinsukia: The United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) has set a deadline of February 16 for Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Limited to secure the release of their employees abducted by the banned outfit from Arunachal Pradesh.
In a press statement, ULFA (I) said if the oil drilling company fails to take positive steps to secure the release of their employees, the outfit will take action against Ram Kumar on February 17. “The deadline will not be extended under any circumstances,” the press release added.
“The same demand has been conveyed to us and the outfit is in regular touch with us. We have conveyed to the outfit hat their demand is unreasonable,” a senior executive of the oil company told EastMojo.
Pranab Kumar Gogoi – a resident of Sivasagar district in Assam – employed as drilling superintendent and Ram Kumar – a resident of Khagaria district in Bihar – employed as radio operation with the oil drilling company were abducted by an armed group of militants on December 21 from Diyun in Changlang district. The Delhi-based oil drilling company has five oil rigs in the Northeast, including Assam.
On January 12, ULFA (I) supremo Paresh Baruah had admitted his outfit’s role in abducting the two employees and told local satellite channel in Assam that Kumar, who hails from Bihar, would be a victim if the company did not pay the outfit its share for extracting natural resources from Assam and Northeast region.
“If Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Limited fail to meet our demands, the company will not be allowed to operate in Assam and South East Asia,” the statement said and further read “The outfit appeals to all indigenous persons and entrepreneurs associated with the oil drilling company to look for alternate means of earning bread and butter.”
The development came barely a week after ULFA (I) released an SOS video of the two abducted employees.
In the video, Gogoi and Kumar appealed to Chief Ministers of Assam and Bihar respectively to secure their release stating that they have been abducted by ULFA (I) and the NSCN.