Ulfa(I) releases video of hostages of Delhi oil company, demands Rs 20 crore

GUWAHATI/PATNA: Assam and Bihar on Thursday moved to secure the safe return of two kidnapped oil company executives — one each from either state — after the Paresh Baruah-led Ulfa(I) released videos purportedly showing the duo appealing to chief ministers Sarbananda Sonowal and Nitish Kumar to do what it takes to get them back home.
Pranab Kumar Gogoi (51) of Assam and Ram Kumar (35) from Bihar are employees of the Delhi-based drilling services firm Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Ltd. They were apparently kidnapped by Ulfa(I) and an NSCN(K) faction from the Kumchaikha drilling site in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Myanmar, on December 21 last year. Ulfa(I) has demanded Rs 20 crore in ransom from the company, sources said.
An Assam government official said CM Sonowal called Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan and his Arunachal Pradesh counterpart Pema Khandu, seeking a concerted effort to free the hostages. Bihar additional chief secretary (home) Amir Subhani said the state government would do everything possible to save Kumar.
His wife Bina Kumari told TOI on Thursday that she last spoke to her husband on December 21. Their five-year-old son was diagnosed with blood cancer 10 months ago and is undergoing treatment at AIIMS-Patna.

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