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Assam: Ultras release abducted forest officials

Last updated on: March 06, 2012 15:17 IST

Two senior Assam Forest Department officials who were abducted by tribal militants on March 3 last in Karbi Anglong hill district of Assam were released by their abductors in the wee hours on Tuesday.

The police informed that Chief Conservator of Forest Abhijit Rabha, a 1984 batch Indian Forest Service officer, and ranger Ranjan Boruah were released by the ultras near Bokoliaghat in the wee hours. The forest officials on their release were subjected to medical checkup by the administration and looked alright.

Both Rabha and Boruah informed that they were feeling alright though they had been frequently made to shift locations by their abductors since their abduction on March 3 afternoon while they were coming back from insurgent-infested Singhasan Hills after conducting a survey.

The newly-formed Karbi People's Liberation Tiger were involved in abduction of the two forest officers for money. The police and Army had launched an operation in and around Singhasan Hills to trace the officials.

Earlier, several non-governmental scientific and conservation organisations working in North East India, including Aaranyak, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), Dolphin Foundation, Early Birds, EcoSystems-India, Green Earth, Wildlife Trust of India and WWF-India appealed for safe and immediate unconditional release of the two abducted forest officers.

"These officers have worked sincerely for conservation of state's forest and wildlife which is of utmost importance for our society. Requesting everyone's support in this regard, the NGOs hope that the good sense will prevail and the abducted officers will be immediately released unharmed in order to enable them and other workers of the Forest Department to contribute towards conservation of biodiversity and natural resources," a statement issued by the NGOs said.

"Conservation efforts by the committed officers and civil society organisations will not only ensure ecological security of the region but will also enhance the quality of life for all, especially for the communities living in and around the forested areas," the statement said.
K Anurag in Guwahati