PPFA demands immediate release of Ram Kumar

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PPFA demands immediate release of Ram Kumar

Patriotic People’s Front Assam (PPFA), while expressing
relief at the release of Assamese engineer Pranab Kumar Gogoi after
three months of abduction voices serious concern over the fate of
Ram Kumar, who is yet to be released by the banned United Liberation
Front of Assam (Independent). The forum of nationalist citizens also
expressed concern that the militant outfit has not issued any
statement over the development.

According to Gogoi, he and Ram Kumar from Bihar were separated on 4
March 2021. In fact, on the same day, both the employees of Haryana-based Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure Limited were expected to be
released after obligatory negotiations with the company. They were
kidnapped together from the Dayun Khumsai drilling area of Arunachal
Pradesh for ransom on 21 December 2020 by a group of armed militants.
It was later delayed because of ‘misreporting’ by a city-based digital
news platform about their release and the Ulfa (I) demanded an apology
from the media outlet. Finally, the issue was resolved after repeated
apologies from the concerned scribes. They tendered apologies along
with a fervent appeal to release both the Quippo employees.

Indian Journalists’ Union (IJU), in a statement issued from Hyderabad
on 6 March, expressed dismay over repeated intimidations by Ulfa (I)
rebels against the scribes. Expressing concern over it, IJU president
K Sreenivas Reddy and secretary-general Balwinder Singh Jammu
requested the militant leaders to clarify on whereabouts of Gogoi and
Kumar (so that concerned families get convinced about their safety).
It carried significance as Ulfa (I) top leader Barua on 12 January
admitted that both the abducted Quippo employees were in their
custody. Speaking to a city-based news channel, Barua even threatened
to take actions against them if the outfit’s share of money (for
extracting natural resources in Northeast) was not paid by the
company. And the first victim would be the Bihar man, asserted Barua.

“It will be very unfortunate if Ram Kumar becomes the victim of
circumstances and the history will never forgive the people of Assam,
if we do not raise voices for his earliest and safe release,” said a
a statement issued by PPFA adding that the authority, civil society
groups and common people must stand united for his safety without
getting amused with the release of an Assamese national by the
militants.

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