Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday visited the residence of kidnapped ONGC employee Ritul Saikia at Titabar in Jorhat district.

Chief minister Sarma assured Ritul’s family that the state government was doing it’s best to get him released from the clutches of the ULFA(I).

Ritul Saikia, was kidnapped by ULFA(I) cadres along with two other ONGC employees from a Romanian work-over rig of ONGC at Lakwa under Sivasagar district of upper Assam on April 21, 2021 and is yet to be rescued.

The two other ONGC employees were rescued within a week by a joint team of Indian Army and Nagaland Police from a village in the Mon district of Nagaland bordering Assam’s Sivasagar district.

Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at the house of Ritul Saikia. Image credit – Northeast Now
Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma at the house of Ritul Saikia. Image credit – Northeast Now

The chief minister told the parents and wife of the abducted ONGC employee that according to the information available with the government Ritul Saikia was somewhere in Myanmar along the Indo-Myanmar border and was safe.

Himanta Biswa Sarma, accompanied by Jorhat Rajya Sabha MP Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Jorhat Lok Sabha MP Topon Kumar Gogoi and Pallab Lochan Das, arrived at the house of Saikia at Nangol Borholla in Jorhat district about 9.30 am.

Sarma first landed at the helipad in Rangoli LP School of the district at 9.15 am and drove four kms to Ritul’s house.

“The government is firmly behind them in this trying times. We are doing our best to rescue Ritul Saikia at the earliest,” chief minister Sarma said.

The family members of Ritul Saikia had met Sarma on May 12 and urged him to take steps to secure safe release of Ritul.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Sarma said Assam has lost a lot of bloods due to insurgency and Paresh Baruah-led ULFA should come forward for talks so that peace could return in the state.

Smita Bhattacharyya

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