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Army, Assam Rifles rescue 2 ONGC employees, operations on to free third employee

The Indian Army and the Assam Rifles troops have rescued two of the three abducted employees of ONGC, while operations are on to rescue the third employee

Army, Assam Rifles rescue 2 ONGC employees, operations on to free third employee
Army, Assam Rifles rescue 2 ONGC employees, operations on to free third employee
  • The two employees who have been rescued late on April 23 night have been identified as Mohini Mohan Gogoi and Alakesh Saikia

  • The rescue operation is being carried out jointly by the Indian Army, Assam Rifles and Nagaland Police, with intelligence inputs from the Assam Police

New Delhi: Three days on, the Indian Army and the Assam Rifles troops have rescued two of the three abducted employees of Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), while operations are on to rescue the third employee who is still being held captive by the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I). The two employees who have been rescued late on April 23 night have been identified as Mohini Mohan Gogoi and Alakesh Saikia, while the third, Retul Saikia, is yet to be rescued.

The two employees were rescued from Mon district of Nagaland near the India-Myanmar border. “I take this opportunity to convey my heartfelt thanks to the personnel of 57 Mountain Div. Leimakhong and DGP Nagaland and Nagaland Police personnel and above all the Village Elders of Mon districts, Nagaland upto Maniakshu near Indo-Myanmar Border,” Assam DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said on Twitter on Saturday. 

Army, Assam Rifles, Nagaland Police involved in rescue op for freeing ONGC employees

The rescue operation is being carried out jointly by the Indian Army, Assam Rifles and Nagaland Police, with intelligence inputs from the Assam Police. The Indian Army said that one AK-47 has also been recovered during the rescue operation. 

The backdrop

Three ONGC employees, including two Junior Engineer Assistants (Production) and a Junior Technician (Production), were abducted by unknown armed miscreants in Assam on early morning on April 21. The abduction took place at a rig site of ONGC in Lakwa field of Sivasagar district in Assam and the abductors used the ONGC operational vehicle to abduct the employees. The police had said that the outlawed Ulfa (I) was behind the abduction of the three ONGC employees.

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The news of abduction of ONGC employees comes at a time when employees stationed in the North-East have been demanding that the management order their release from deputation in the North-East as they have completed their tenure. This was also one of the demands raised by ONGC employees who observed a day-long fast on April 20.

At ONGC, employees are compulsorily deputed to the North-East region for a period of three years. However, ONGC employees who were transferred to the North-East in 2017 and 2018 have been stuck in the region despite having completed their tenure because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions on movement that have been in place for most of the year in 2020 and in 2021 as a fresh surge is reported in infections. According to sources, militants generally target outsiders in the state for abduction and the recent incident has created a feeling of insecurity amidst ONGC employees who are stationed in the North-East despite having completed their tenure.

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