Cop involved in abduction case arrested

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5 more police suspected to be involved in abduction ** No trace of Ritul Saikia yet

HT Correspondent

SIVASAGAR/ DIBRUGARH, April 26: A police constable of the 25th AP(ONGC) Bn was arrested from Sadiya on Monday for his alleged link in the abduction of the three employees of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) from Lakuwa in Sivasagar district on April 20, even after the sixth day there is no trace of the third ONGC employee Ritul Saikia who had gone missing after the reported encounter on the night of April 23.

Two of the colleagues constables, suspected to be his accomplices, are currently absconding, and a search operation to nab them is underway.

The constable identified as Basanta Buragohain, a resident of Chapakhowa in Sadiya district has been arrested for his alleged connection with the abduction.

“We have arrested Basanta Buragohain for his alleged involvement with ULFA (I) group. We have taken Buragohain in our custody and started interrogating him,” Sadiya superintendent of police Sumeet Sharma informed ‘The Hills Times’.

“We are investigating the case and cannot currently comment on the involvement of other police personnel in the abduction case. We will not spare anyone involved in the abduction case,” a senior police officer said.

According to the report, the three constables – all of them from the 25th Assam Battalion were deployed for maintaining security at ONGC’s oil rig at Lakwa and are alleged to have facilitated the kidnapping of the employees, two of whom have been rescued.

A team of officers are on the lookout for Buragohain’s colleagues.

One of them purchased the motorcycle that was used in the crime, the second person had rendered logistical support, and Buragohain ‘actively participated’ in the abduction.

“Investigation indicates involvement of only 1 police personnel so far but anyone found directly or indirectly involved in this case will be seriously dealt with as per law. All relevant facts are bound to come out on debriefing of the apprehended Basanta Buragohain,” the DGP tweeted.

The Assam Police will spare no culprit involved in this case, Mahanta said.

“Effort to trace out and rescue the third victim from ULFA custody is still going on,” he added.

A massive combing operation followed by an exchange of fire between security forces and militants on April 24, near the India-Myanmar border, had led to the rescue of two of the three kidnapped employees – junior technician Mohini Mohan Gogoi (35) and junior engineering assistant (production) Alakesh Saikia (28).

The operation, aided by intelligence inputs from Assam Police, was carried out by a joint team of the Nagaland Police, the army and other paramilitary organisations.

Another junior technician Ritul Saikia (33), the third abductee, is yet to be traced.

The outlawed ULFA (I), in an email, has claimed that the outfit or the NSCN were not responsible for the status of the third employee.

Meanwhile, security forces have launched counter insurgency operations and search operations to trace out the third employee Ritul Saikia.

On April 22, Sivasagar police arrested 14 persons in connection with the abduction of the ONGC employees.

It has been suspected that at least five other police personnel were involved in the abduction case.

 

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