The United Liberation Front of Assam-Independent (ULFA-I) recently claimed the responsibility for the alleged kidnapping of the two officials of Quippo Oil & Gas Infrastructure Ltd, under the Oil India Ltd (OIL).
Drilling Superintendent PK Gogoi and radio operator Ram Kumar were abducted on 21 December from Diyun circle of Changlang district.
The claim, though not surprising, is a matter of serious concern.
The districts- Tirap, Changlang and Longding are the worst affected by years of Naga insurgency.
Various underground groups operate in these districts and have made life miserable for the people.
The ULFA-I which is led by fugitive Paresh Baruah never had a strong presence in the Arunachal territory.
Of course their cadre took advantage of the dense porous jungles along the Assam-Arunachal boundary to move around. They take shelter inside the deep forest of Arunachal whenever they face heat in Assam. But apart from that, the ULFA-I cadre never had much presence in the state. In this context, it is a worrying development that ULFA-I has carried out acts of kidnapping inside the Arunachal territory in Changlang district. There is every possibility that local people might be involved in it.
Without the support of the locals it would not have been possible to execute such an audacious criminal act.
Besides rescuing the hostages and arresting the kidnappers, the police also need to properly investigate the local angle. No one should be spared. The state police need to act decisively against UG groups operating in the TCL districts. It is very disturbing to know that besides Naga insurgents, now, even the ULFA-I has become active in the area. This is definitely a warning sign.