GUWAHATI: Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi has moved Union Minister of Home Affairs (MHA) Amit Shah for his intervention in the safe return of the two employees of Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Ltd.
A few days back, the ULFA-I kidnapped Pranab Kumar Gogoi and Ram Kumar, both employees of Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Ltd, from Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh and sought Rs 20-crore ransom for their safe release.
Sending a letter to Shah on Sunday, Gaurav Gogoi said, "Given the sensitive nature of the matter and the potential threat to the lives of the two abductees, I urge you to take the matter into immediate consideration for appropriate action. The government should ensure safe return of the two employees."
Meanwhile, addressing the media over phone on Sunday, ULFA chief Paresh Baruah said that the outfit has deferred its 'ultimate punishment' to the two employees of Quippo following repeated appeals to it by sections of people of the State to reconsider their decision.
IANS adds: The ULFA seems to have shifted two kidnapped employees of Quippo Oil & Gas Infrastructure Ltd across the border into Myanmar.
Sources close to ULFA said this was done after a deadline for ransom set by the ULFA expired on Friday. The rebel group suspected that security forces may resort to a snatch raid on a rebel hideout on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border where the two Quippo employees had been kept.
Even as security forces were continuing operations in the border jungles of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to rescue the two Quippo employees, the Assam government has appealed to the ULFA to release them at once.
"We earnestly request Paresh Barua to release the duo. We don't want Assam and India to be painted red with blood. If something unfortunate happens to the two persons, then Assam's head will hang in shame. Our community will be compared to Taliban," said senior Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Intelligence officials said the ULFA initially demanded Rs 20 crore for releasing them but then scaled down the demand to half that amount. There were indications it might be prepared to settle for still less. But it seems the militant leaders were upset by Quippo's refusal to concede to payment of ransom.
Also Watch: News From Assam