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Assam CM urges ULFA-I to release Quippo employees ‘on humanitarian grounds’

GUWAHATI: Assam’s chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday urged the Paresh Baruah led faction of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) to release two abducted Quippo employees on ‘humanitarian grounds.’

Making an appeal to militant leader Paresh Baruah, Sonowal said that the Assam Government is “open for talks.”

“Doors are always open as issues can be resolved with talks,” Sonowal said, adding, “Therefore, I am saying that the Government is ready to talk with the ULFA-I to resolve any issue.”

The ULFA (I) has demanded Rs. 20 crore as a ransom for releasing the two employees of the company that it abducted from Changlang in Arunachal Pradesh along with cadres of the NSCN (K).

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Earlier, on Sunday, through a phone call, ULFA-I chief Paresh Baruah informed that the proscribed outfit has suspended its decision to take “extreme punishment” against the abducted oil company employees for the time being.

Talking to Gauhati Press Club secretary Sanjay Ray over telephone at the press club premises Sunday evening, ULFA (I) commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah said the decision to suspend its next step has been taken honouring appeals from the civil society as well as the media.

“Baruah also said that a section of the media has misinterpreted the meaning of extreme punishment the armed outfit had threatened and said the ULFA (I) and NSCN were open to further discussion over the matter,” said Ray.

ULFA (I) had abducted radio operator Ram Kumar and drilling superintendent Pranab Kumar Gogoi from the company’s drilling site in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh on 21 December last year.

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