Abducted ONGC employee Ritul Saikia reached his home at Nangol village in Jorhat’s Borholla area at about 7.30 pm on Saturday.

Ritul was given a rousing welcome by his villagers and kin as he reached his home after one month of his abduction.

He was kidnapped by ULFA(I) cadres from an oil rig at Lakwa in Sivasagar district along the Assam-Nagaland border.

Saikia reached Longvi village in Mon district of Nagaland along the Indo-Myanmar border at about 7:10 am on Saturday.

The proscribed outfit kidnapped him along with two other ONGC employees Mohini Mohan Gogoi and Alakesh Saikia on April 21 from the Lakwa oil rig.

Mohini Mohan Gogoi and Alakesh Saikia were rescued by Indian Army and Nagaland Police on April 24 after an encounter with the militants near the Indo-Myanmar border in Mon district of Nagaland.

On Saturday, a large number of security personnel were present in front of Ritul Saikia’s house at Nangol and the people greeted him by playing the khol and taal.

Also read: Assam: Abducted ONGC employee Ritul Saikia arrives at Sonari

Ritul Saikia told newspersons that he was feeling tired because of walking through the jungles for days to reach the border.

He further said he was looking forward to meeting his family and especially his mother and four-month-old son.

Saikia, after being released at the indo-Myanmar border in Mon district of Nagaland, was escorted to Assam by Assam Rifles personnel and Assam Police.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who met the family of Saikia on May 18, had appealed to ULFA-I commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah to release him.

On the news of Ritul’s release, chief minister Sarma tweeted: “Heartily welcome release of Ritul Saikia, ONGC employee abducted by ULFA, early today! Grateful to Honble UHM @AmitShah for constant guidance. Hope an era of peace & development is firmly established in state with cooperation of one and all. Pray to Almighty for His Blessings.”

Following the appeal by the chief minister, Paresh Baruah told a section of news channels on May 20 that Saikia would be released in 1-2 days.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com