Guwahati, May 20: Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma today made a fervent appeal to proscribed ULFA (I) Chief Paresh Barua to safely release abducted ONGC employee Ritul Saikia at the earliest.
Addressing a press conference, Dr Sarma said, "This is an appeal on behalf of the family, the child of Ritul Saikia. We urge you to release him safely at the earliest." "His safe release will be another step forward from the three-month unilateral ceasefire declared by the outfit," he added. The Chief Minister further assured the ULFA (I) that it's demand for more investment by ONGC and OIL in the State is being pursued by the State government also, in its own procedures.
"We are seized by the need for development and investment in Assam. Holding someone hostage will not serve any purpose," Dr Sarma said. Ritul Saikia and another two ONGC employees were abducted from Lakuwa on April 21, but the other two were rescued from a Nagaland village on April 24 following an encounter between the militants and security forces. Ritul was, however, not among the rescued persons.