GUWAHATI: The United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) on Monday released an Islamic State-style video clip in which a youth, held hostage by the banned insurgent group, was heard begging his parents, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and an MLA to secure his release before he got killed in crossfire.
In the video, hostage Kuldeep Moran was seen wearing a green T-shirt and kneeling down and surrounded by five masked gunmen at a forested area. “I’ve been abducted by ULFA. They are taking me to several places blindfolded. (Due to constant movement), I’ve become very weak and the condition of my health has deteriorated. I am afraid I might get killed in crossfire,” Kuldeep said in the clip. He then appealed to his parents, Sonowal and the MLA Bolin Chetia to secure his release. Earlier, the ULFA demanded a ransom of Rs.1 crore.
Abduction by the militants for ransom is common in the Northeast but this was for the first time that ULFA released a video clip featuring a hostage.
Chetia is the BJP MLA from Sadiya in Tinsukia district and a close friend of the abducted youth’s father, Ratneshwar Moran, who is the vice president of Tinsukia District Zila Parishad. Kuldeep was abducted from Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh on August 1. The Assam Police suspected that he had been kept somewhere in Myanmar.
“He is not in our area and we suspect that he has been kept somewhere in Myanmar. Although it is a case of Arunachal Police yet we are constantly coordinating with them as the youth is from Tinsukia district. The Changlang SP is personally monitoring the case,” Tinsukia Superintendent of Police, Mugdha Jyoti Mahanta, told Express.
A day after his son’s abduction, Ratneshwar Moran had received a phone call from a person who identified himself as someone from the ULFA. He demanded Rs1 crore as ransom, to be arranged by the MLA. The legislator then brought the matter to the notice of the chief minister.
The ULFA admitted the abduction. “The youth was abducted by our eastern command unit. But now, we have no knowledge about him as we haven’t been able to get in touch with the unit due to communication blues,” the outfit said recently.