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Abducted FCI official dead

Ram was killed in the gunfight between his kidnappers and security forces in the early hours of Thursday at Borka Panitema village under the Kamalpur police station, reports Digambar Patowary.

india Updated: Jul 13, 2007 01:35 IST
Digambar Patowary

Phul Chand Ram, executive director of the Food Corporation of India for the North Eastern region who was kidnapped by the United Liberation Front of Asom cadres, was killed in crossfire on Thursday. His son Praveen Ram identified his body at the GNRC hospital.

Ram was killed in the gunfight between his kidnappers and security forces in the early hours of Thursday at Borka Panitema village under the Kamalpur police station in Kamrup district.

Ram was kidnapped on April 17 while he was returning home from office. A body was subsequently dug out of a field in Baksa district, which was identified as that of Ram by Praveen.

The body was cremated in New Delhi on July 2. But the ULFA told the media that Ram was still alive. This prompted security forces to launch a fresh operation to trace him.

A man claiming to be Ram also called his family in Ghaziabad to say that he was alive.

On Thursday, the Assam police launched an operation after getting a tip-off that some ULFA militants had taken shelter in the house of Gobind Deka in Borkapanitenga, DIG GP Singh said.

At about 9 pm, police surrounded the house and asked the militants to surrender. The ULFA cadres fired at the policemen who retaliated. Singh said the gun battle lasted more than three hours and the police entered the house around 12.30 am. They found two militants dead and a bullet-riddled body of an elderly man under a bed.

"The physical description of the third person was similar to that of Ram. We have requested his family members to confirm the identity of the body," he said. The police also recovered two AK-56 rifles, a pistol, grenade, an IED and ammunition.

FCI officials of the NE region office confirmed that the dead man to be Ram.

(With inputs from PTI)