* Assam Police also alerted
* No outfit has claimed responsibility
* ULFA(I) & NSCN (IM) roles under the scanner
BORDUMSA: A massive search operation has been launched by Army and paramilitary forces to trace the two abducted officials of an oil-drilling firm from a drilling site at Kumchaikha near Innao here on Monday evening, The Arunachal Pradesh Police has also alerted its Assam counterparts. "Search operation has been intensified in the nearby Reserve Forest areas of Manabum-Tengapani-Namsai," informed a security personnel engaged in the combing operations. IGP Eastern Range, SP Changlang, and top officials of the IRBN and CRPF visited the site on Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, Changlang Superintendent of Police (SP) MihinGambo told The Sentinel that the motive behind the abduction of the two employees of Innao-Khumchaikha-based 'Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Limited' is yet to surface. "No party or organisation has so far claimed responsibility for the abduction nor has there been any communication for ransom to this affect till Tuesday evening. We suspect the banned NSCN (K) and ULFA (I). We are exploring all the possible angles to ascertain the exact nature of the act."
The two abducted persons are drilling superintendentPranab Kumar Gogoi (51) — a resident of Sivasagar town of Assam — and radio operator Ram Kumar (35) from Bihar. Gogoi had taken charge of the plant as its drilling superintendent last Saturday from his colleague Keshab Baruah — a resident of Lakuwa in Saraideu district of Assam.
"I neither received any intimidation from any organization nor any rebel group demanded money during my shift duty in the plant," said Keshab Baruah on Tuesday afternoon.
When asked, Baruah also admitted that the plant does not have CCTV surveillance cameras nor security personnels man the entry or exit points of the plant.
He added, "The company normally works for a short period of time", adding, "due to some technical reasons, the firm has been in operation for the past two years in the area."
Earlier in a similar incident of kidnapping on April 1, 2019, an employee of the 'Udipta Energy Oil Company' identified as Keshab Baruah was abducted. He was, however, released on April 29 that very year. Subsequently, police arrested two of the three kidnappers along with the ransom amount of Rs 28.19 lakh.
Sources informed that an amount of Rs 40 lakh was paid by the company to the kidnappers in the nearby Sukhan Nallah area to secure the safe release of the victim. The third accomplice identified as Raj Kumar Chakma of Tripura is still at large. The remaining amount of the ransom money is reportedly with him.
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