A retired Maharastra government forest official and butterfly expert Vilas Rao Wadekar, allegedly abducted by suspected NDFB insurgents 83 days ago from a forest in Arunachal Pradesh, has been released in Assam's Sonitpur district.
The retired Indian Forest Service officer was set free at Dhekiajuli late last night by the anti-talk Ranjan Daimary
faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland, officials here said today.
Stating that Wadekar was not tortured during his captivity, they said he was sent to Pune via Mumbai from
Guwahati during the day.
Wadekar was taken captive on May 12 from Daimara village in the Kamengbari Reserve Forest in Arunachal Pradesh
where he was on a private visit from Pune to photograph butterfly varieties.
The 1984 Maharastra cadre IFS official had put up for the night at former panchayat member Lama Norbu's house at
Daimari village for going to the the Eagle Nest Wildlife Sanctuary to photograph butterflies there.
A group of 12 NDFB militants armed with automatic weapons and grenades had swooped on Lama's residence, beat up a forest department worker and a guide before taking Wadekar away.
Though official sources said his release was because of the relentless efforts by the two neighbouring states,
unofficial sources claimed that Rs 1.4 crore was paid as ransom to the ultras for setting him free.