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ULFA (I) finally releases 2 abducted Quippo employees

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SIVASAGAR: The Paresh Baruah-headed faction of the ULFA has finally released two employees of New Delhi-headquartered Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Limited which it had kidnapped for ransom.

The Quippo employees — drilling superintendent Pranab Kumar Gogoi, 51, and radio operator Ram Kumar, 35 — were abducted on 21 December from the company’s Kumchaikha hydrocarbon drilling site in Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district, which borders Myanmar.

Meanwhile, the families of the abducted workers have thanked Baruah for finally releasing them and are awaiting their return.

The ULFA(I), with the Myanmar-based Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), had earlier set 16 February as the deadline for the payment of a ransom sum of Rupees 20 crore.

While Gogoi is an Assamese from Sivasagar district, Ram Kumar is from Bihar.While Gogoi is an Assamese from Sivasagar district, Ram Kumar is from Bihar.

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After threatening to take the “ultimate step” against the hostages after non-fulfillment of demands, ULFA (I) chief Paresh Baruah called up journalists to say that it “deferred action” against the two and said that the “deadline set for their release has been extended.”

Quippo was engaged in talks with the outfit through the mediator and police officer said they would issue a statement once the two men return.

Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Limited later agreed to create 5,000 jobs for Assamese youths to secure the release of their two employees.

No money changed hands in this abduction case that ULFA(I) commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah’s demand was “growth and opportunity in terms of jobs for Assamese youth.”

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