Press Trust of india

Armed militants abduct 3 ONGC employees from rig site in Assam

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New Delhi: Five armed militants on Wednesday early morning abducted three employees of state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) from a rig site in Assam after locking security guards and driving away in the company’s emergency-cum-medical vehicle.

The militants, suspected to be belonging to banned ULFA (I) group, later abandoned the vehicle near the Nimonagarh jungle close to the Assam-Nagaland border, a company official said.

On Wednesday early morning, five armed militants raided the company’s remote rig site under the Lakwa oilfield in Sivasagar district of Assam. They first locked the two security guards posted at site before bundling the three young employees into the company’s emergency-cum-medical vehicle stationed at the rig site and drove away.

The official said the company has filed a complaint with the local police and beefed up security at installations in Assam.

No gun shot was fired during the abduction. “We don’t know how the entire episode unfolded. The police is looking into it,” he said.

Local and central control rooms have been activated to coordinate with the police to get the employees released.

“A high-level review of security of employees and their families has been held and we are taking additional measures,” the official said, refusing to elaborate on steps being taken. “We are also taking help from local police.”

ONGC has around 2,000 employees, officers and support staff in the Sivasagar asset.

Whereabouts of the kidnapped employees are not known and kidnappers have not made any contact with the families or the company so far, the official said.

“3 ONGC employees, 2 Junior Engineer Assistants (Production) & a Junior Technician (Production) have been abducted by unknown armed miscreants in the early hours of 21 April 2021. The abduction took place on a rig site of ONGC in Lakwa field of Sivasagar District,” the company said in a tweet.

All three employees are local Assamese. They have been identified as M M Gogoi and Ritul Saikia — both junior engineer assistants (production) — and Alakesh Saikia, a junior technician (production).

The official said all the three were young employees, hailing from Dibrugarh and Jorhat.

“The abducted employees were taken by the miscreants in an operational vehicle belonging to ONGC. Later, the vehicle was found abandoned near the Nimonagarh jungles close to the Assam-Nagaland border,” ONGC said in another tweet. “A complaint has been lodged by ONGC with the local police.”

ONGC has been exploring and producing oil and gas in the Upper Assam region since the early 1960s.

“Higher officials of the State Police are on the site. Local administration has been informed about the incident and ONGC is in constant touch with the higher authorities,” it added.

The official said ONGC has made contact with the families of the abducted and is providing every possible assistance.



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