Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on May 13 said that the state government is taking all possible steps to rescue ONGC engineer Ritul Saikia from captivity of the outlawed ULFA-I.
An official at the CMO said that Sarma, who also holds the home portfolio, met Saikia’s wife and younger brother during his visit to Majuli.
“During the meeting, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma assured them that all possible steps are being taken by the state government to find and rescue Saikia at the earliest. Titabar MLA Bhaskarjyoti Baruah was also present during the meeting,” the official said.
Sarma, after taking oath as Assam’s 15th chief minister on May 10, urged the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent), led by Paresh Barua, and other militant groups to shun the path of violence and join the mainstream.
The ULFA-I, on April 21, had kidnapped three engineers of the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) from a drilling site at Lakwa in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar district.
The army, along with Assam Rifles troopers, rescued two hostages from the militants following a fierce firefight on April 23 night in Nagaland, but Ritul Saikia still remains missing.