ULFA (I) releases second kidnapped employee of oil exploration firm

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Guwahati, Apr 5 (PTI) The second of the two kidnapped employees of a New Delhi-based private oil exploration firm was released by the ULFA (Independent) on Monday,two days after the first staff was set free from captivity Saturday.

A statement issued by the Assam Rifles stated that Ram Kumar, a resident of Bihar, was released on Myanmar side of Lungwa village after 108 days and he was further intercepted by Assam Rifles border domination patrol at Lungwa village in Mon district early in the day.

The individual has been handed over to Arunachal Pradesh police at Tizit, the statement added.

ULFA(I) and Myanmar-faction of NSCN (K) had taken Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Limited's drilling superintendent Pranab Kumar Gogoi (51) and radio operator Ram Kumar (35) from Kumchaikha hydrocarbon drilling site near Innao in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh, which borders Myanmar on December 21 last.

Kumar told reporters that six persons accompanying him had said that he would be released and accordingly he was left near a road and was given the directions and to seek help when he reached a particular point.

He thanked his parents, family, well-wishers, security personnel and the media for doing their utmost to ensure his release.

A statement issued on Saturday had said a border patrol of Assam Rifles in South Arunachal Pradesh intercepted an individual crossing the India-Myanmar border in Changlang District, during border domination operations on April 3.

'The individual was identified as Pranab Kumar Gogoi, an employee of Quippo Oil and Gas Infra Ltd, who was earlier kidnapped from Inau, Arunachal Pradesh by ULFA(I). The individual has been handed over to Arunachal Pradesh Police at Longvi,' according to the statement.

Gogoi, after giving his statement to the police, had undergone a medical examination, before being handed over to his family after the completion of all formalities.

The same drill was expected to be followed in the case of Kumar.

Gogoi had told reporters that the two were kept together till they were separated on March four, after they were promised that they would be released through different routes.

The ULFA(I), which had claimed responsibility of their kidnapping, however, was yet to issue any statement on their release. PTI DG SNS SNS