A top Assam Police official on April 28 said that the third kidnapped ONGC staffer is still in the captivity of outlawed ULFA-I and security forces are continuing their search for him.
Special director general, law and order, GP Singh said that there was specific information from the Assam Rifles, the Army and, the Nagaland Police that Ritul Saikia is still in the captivity of the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent.
“The militants have kept Saikia in their hideout in Mon district (in Nagaland). The security forces would be able to rescue him very soon,” said Singh, who is supervising the search operation since the three ONGC men abducted by the ULFA-I rebels from a rig site at Lakwa in Assam’s Sivasagar district on April 21.
The ULFA-I had kidnapped Mohini Mohan Gogoi (35) and Ritul Saikia (33), both junior technicians, production, and Alakesh Saikia (28) a junior engineering assistant, production, but the Army, along with Assam Rifles troopers, rescued Gogoi and Alakesh Saikia following a fierce encounter on April 23 night.
ULFA-I, headed by commander-in-chief Paresh Barua, in a statement on April 24 said that all three employees were handed over to villagers of Totokchingnyu in Nagaland amid concerns for their safety. It claimed that Ritul Saikia may have been killed in the crossfire or the army is hiding him.