By Imna longchar
Dimapur (Nagaland), April 24: Experiencing a fierce “gun combat” in the wee hours of April 24 between the Indian security forces and some “insurgency groups” at Totok Chingyu and Chi, Mon, Nagaland, which share borders with its neighbouring country, Myanmar (Burma), two employees of the Assam State company Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC), who were earlier kidnapped were rescued.
A highly placed source from the Mon district administration, Nagaland, told South Asia Views that the two persons held as hostages were rescued while there was “ex-change of firing” between ULFA (I) backed by NSCN-K (YA) and the security forces in the international borders.The source also disclosed that during the exchange of the “firing”, the cadres from the “insurgency group” fled the scene leaving the two out of the three hostages after which the police rescued them.
It is reported that the search for the third (Ritual Saikia) who is yet to be traced is on.
Meanwhile, as per the source, the operation was carried out by a joint team of Nagaland Police, theIndian Army and other paramilitary forces, who were supported by intelligence inputs from Assam Police.
The rescued persons have been identified as Mohini Mohan Gogoi and Alakesh Saikia.
A senior police official from Assam directly involved in the entire case said the terrorists left one AK-series rifle and escaped from the scene after the encounter.
“It is clear that these were ULFA(I) terrorists. While fleeing from the scene, they could manage to take Ritul Saikia with them. The border is about six to seven km from the site and it is not easy tocross as it is surrounded by dense forest,” he added. It was also learnt that police have arrested 14 linkmen and sympathizers of ULFA (I) who were helping the “banned outfit” directly or indirectly.
It may be pertinent to mention that on April 21, suspected ULFA (I) militants kidnapped three (3)persons from a work over rig site (ROW 100 Ill) of ONGC located within Lakwa T.E. Cholapather grant under Simaluguri PS of Sivsagar district.
Five militants came to the site and kidnapped the ONGC staff in an Ambulance kept in the site. They were driven to No. 5 Dakupukhuri near Charaideo T.E. under Mathurapur PS from where the kidnapped persons along with two (2) kidnappers moved towards the hillside of Mon district in Nagaland.
Meanwhile , Assam DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta in statement said that as mentioned in our press release, we confirm that the kidnapping was done by the ULFA (I) under command of SS Maj Ganesh Lahon and his accomplices.
So far Security Forces have been able to rescue 2 of the total three victims from near the India Myanmar border in Mon Dist., Nagaland. The rescued 2 are Alakesh Saikia and Mohini Mohan Gogoi. Efforts are going on to rescue the third victim.
DGP, Mahanta also conveyed his 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 without whose cooperation the rescue operation would not have been possible.