Banned militant group United Liberation Front of Assam (Independent) released an employee of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation on Saturday, a month after abducting him, PTI reported.
Ritul Saikia was released at Longwa village in Nagaland, near the Indo-Myanmar border, at 7 am, an unidentified Assam police official said.
“Saikia has been taken to the Mon police station by the Army and Nagaland Police,” the official added. “A team of the Assam Police is also present there and doing the formalities to bring him back home by today [Saturday] evening.”
The official added that Saikia will undergo a medical check before being dropped home in Assam’s Jorhat district.
Ritul Saikia and two other ONGC employees, Mohan Gogoi and Alakesh Saikia, were abducted by the militant group on April 21 from a rig site in Assam’s Sivasagar district.
While Gogoi and Alakesh Saikia were rescued after an encounter near the India-Myanmar border on April 24, Saikia remained in the militant group’s custody, according to PTI.
At a press conference on May 20, newly-appointed Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had appealed to ULFA(I) chief Paresh Barua to release Saikia. Soon after that, Barua announced that the ONGC employee would be released in less than a week.
In a tweet on Saturday, Sarma welcomed Saikia’s release. “Grateful to Union Home Minister Amit Shah for constant guidance,” he said. “Hope an era of peace & development is firmly established in state with cooperation of one and all. Pray to Almighty for His Blessings.”
Meanwhile, Saikia said that he was grateful to have been released, adding that he was exhausted after walking through the jungles of Assam for several days, The Indian Express reported.