The banned United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) has warned that the chief ministers of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh would be responsible if two abducted employees of a private oil drilling company die in an “undesired incident”.
In a release issued on Saturday, the banned outfit accused CMs of the two states of using “delaying tactics” instead of trying to secure release of the employees of Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Limited, a Delhi-based company.
“Instead of finding ways to end the prisoner exchange conflict between ULFA-I and Quippo, the Assam and Arunachal Pradesh CMs are using delaying tactics and launched a weeklong effort to secure the release of the two officials through military operation,” the ULFA-I release said.
“The nod to initiate the operation was given by Assam and Arunachal Pradesh CMs. Chiefs of the Unified Command have been entrusted the task of making the operation successful along with defence, military, civil and Assam Police intelligence establishments,” it added.
Pranab Kumar Gogoi, a drilling superintendent, and Ram Kumar, a radio operator, were abducted by a group of miscreants on December 21 from the company’s drilling location in Diyun in Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district.
Gogoi is a resident of Sivasagar district in Assam while Kumar hails from Khagaria district in Bihar. The company operates oil and gas drilling sites in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
“In these circumstances, we are sure that instead of getting the officials released alive, the Indian establishment wants to end their operation by killing the two and putting the entire blame on ULFA-I,” the ULFA-I release said.
“Therefore, it is certain that in the coming days during the operation launched by Unified Command, the two Quippo employees could die in an undesired incident. If that happens, the entire blame of it would have to be borne by the Assam and Arunachal Pradesh CMs and the Indian forces,” it added.
On January 28, ULFA-I had issued a statement giving a February 16 deadline to Quippo to secure the release of its employees. If the deadline is not met, the outfit warned it would take action against Kumar, who hails from Bihar.
On January 20, ULFA-I had released a video of the two abducted employees where they appealed to the chief ministers of Assam and Bihar to secure their release.
On January 12, ULFA-I commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah had admitted to abducting the two employees and told local TV channels in Assam that Kumar, who hails from Bihar, would become a “victim” if the company didn’t pay the outfit it’s “due share” for extracting natural resources from Assam and rest of northeast region.
Baruah added that Gogoi, who’s an Assamese, won’t be harmed.