Abducted ONGC official Ritul Saikia finally arrived home at Borholla in Jorhat district, almost 12 hours after he reached Longwa in Mon district of Nagaland at around 7 am on Saturday.
Television channels showed a large crowd of people waiting for him and as soon as he arrived emotions ran free, a small band of people playing the Assamese dhol and cymbals led him to the house.
On his arrival at Longwa, Saikia was received by teams of Assam Police and Assam Rifles who took him to the headquarter town Mon. Both police and the Assam Rifles debriefed him there. He also underwent a Covid-19 test which turned out to be negative.
Assam Police formally took him into custody from Nagaland Police at Mon and brought him to Sonari where again police questioned him.
Saikia was abducted by the Ulfa(I) on April 21.
His wife, who had gone to Sonari in neighbouring Charaideo district, to bring him, was heard saying that the family was now complete once again. His mother thanked and blessed all those who had contributed their mite in helping her son finally return home.
“I have no words to express my joy,” she said.
Speaking to the media at the police station there, Saikia said that the Ulfa(I) commander-in-chief Paresh Barua had spoken to him when was in captivity in Myanmar and told him there was nothing “personal” in his abduction.
“It is in the interest of Assam and the Assamese people,” Saikia quoted Barua as having told him.
“Our matter is with your company…We shouldn’t have had to take any Assamese person. We will let you go,” Barua told him.
He said he and accompanying Ulfa(I) cadre started walking two three days ago. This morning, they left him at a point and gave him Rs 2000 saying he might need it on the way back. After walking for a kilometer he was met by a team of Assam Rifles. Till then he was not even aware of where he was.
ONGC Assam Asset Executive Director, Om Vir Singh, who was also present, felicitated him with a gamosa. To a pointed question from the media, he said there had been no deal with the Ulfa(I) over Saikia’s release.
Saikia was abducted from Lakwa in Charaideo district along with two of his colleagues, Alakesh and Mohini Mohan Gogoi. Alakesh and Gogoi were rescued on April 24 after an encounter with security forces in Mon district.
Barua had assured on Thursday that Saikia would be home in four days after chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma appealed for his release.