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Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Assam Police warns Oil India, ONGC of likely ULFA(I) attack

A worker inspects equipment at a land drilling oil rig, manufactured by Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd. (MEIL) and operated by ONGC, Representative  Photo: Sumit Dayal/Bloomberg (Bloomberg)

According to PTI, a telephone advice was provided to Oil India officials on probable strikes, including kidnapping of officials, on the company's installations by the ULFA (I).

"During the monsoon, many places where the oil rigs are located become inaccessible. So, we alert the companies about the security aspect. This is a periodic and routine thing," he said, without elaborating further.

When contacted, OIL spokesperson Tridiv Hazarika told PTI from its field headquarters in Duliajan that the company received "some intelligence input" from the police earlier this week.

"Immediately an internal meeting was called and chaired by Resident Chief Executive In-Charge. It was attended by senior officials of CISF, AISF OIL Security and other departments," he said.

The meeting decided to sensitise the employees and officers on various issues of security and accordingly, certain steps were taken, Hazarika said.

"Steps were taken in response to the advice of the Assam Police on the movement of OIL personnel and the company operations. People have been advised to be cautious regarding their movements for official and personal purposes," he said.

A source at ONGC confirmed receipt of an alert from the security agencies regarding possible activities by the ULFA(I) against the company and its staff.

"We have taken some measures to protect our assets and people after due consultations with security agencies," the source said but refused to share details.

On February 22, the Assam Police issued a letter to OIL and warned that "reliable intelligence input" indicated ULFA(I) was planning to carry out subversive activities in Dibrugarh.

On April 21 last year, three employees of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) were kidnapped by ULFA(I) militants from the Lakwa oilfield in Sivasagar district along the Assam-Nagaland border.

Two employees were rescued on April 24 after an encounter near the India-Myanmar border in Mon district of Nagaland, while the third was released by ULFA(I) militants after 31 days on May 22.

In April 2021, two employees of the Quippo Oil and Gas Infrastructure were released by ULFA(I) after three-and-half months of their kidnap on December 21, 2020.

The duo was kidnapped from Kumchacha hydrocarbon drilling site in Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh with a demand for a ransom of 20 crore.

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