In another big development, Sadiya police on Sunday night arrested an accused in connection with the abduction of three ONGC employees from Lakwa in upper Assam’s Sivasagar district on April 21.
The accused has been identified as Bhupen Barua of Sadiya.
According to police, Barua had provided logistical support to the militant outfit during the abduction of the ONGC staff.
The accused will be handed over to Sivasagar police. His arrest took place within 48 hours of a ULFA-I overground activist being shot at by the Sadiya police during a search operation.
The operative Tapan Buragohain was shot in the leg on July 9 night when he tried to flee from police custody.
Buragohain who was arrested from Teligorha village near the Assam-Arunachal inter-state border on July 8 had gone with a police team to show them the hideout of another fellow operative in the area.
Police said he tried to escape taking advantage of the darkness forcing them to open fire. Earlier, a constable of the 25th Assam Police (ONGC) Battalion, Basant Buragohain was arrested by the Sadiya police for his role in the abduction of the ONGC employees.
On April 21, three employees of ONGC – Alakesh Saikia, Mohini Mohan Gogoi and Retul Saikia – were abducted by armed ULFA-I militants from a work-over rig site inside the Lakwa tea estate in Sivasagar district.
Two of them Alakesh Saikia and Mohini Mohan Gogoi were rescued within 72 hours by a joint team of Army, Assam Rifles, Assam police, Nagaland police and intelligence officials from the jungles of Mon district in Nagaland. Retul Saikia was released by the Ulfa-I after a month in captivity in on May 22 following an appeal by the chief minister.
Sadiya SP Sumeet Sharma said, “We have got information about Bhupen Barua’s involvement in the abduction case from the arrested accused Tapan Buragohain. We have successfully nabbed him.”