Maharashtra IFS officer Vilas Bardekar, who was released after being held captive allegedly by Bodo militants for 83 days, on Tuesday said the militants did not demand ransom for his release.
"After I was abducted by a group seven to eight youngsters aged between 19 to 25 from a forest near Devmara village (Arunachal Pradesh), I was taken deep into the forest. During these 83 days, they changed about seven locations, sensing the movement of security troops," Bardekar told reporters.
"The militants holding AK47s never demanded money neither from me and I think nor from the Maharashtra government. They thought I was from media following which they kidnapped me and kept me in their camps," he said when asked if there was truth in the reports that Rs five crore ransom was demanded to ensure his release.
Visibly relieved Bardekar on Tuesday met Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam.
Bardekar, a 1984 batch IFS (Indian Forest Service) officer, was abducted on May 12 from a forest in Arunachal's West Kameng district while he was studying butterfly species there.
Bardekar, Joint-Director of Social Forestry in Maharastra, was released yesterday at Dhekiajuli in Assam.
"Though they told me that I would be safe, I was scared that they would not let me go home and kill me. I was not sure I would be back home alive. In fact, minutes after they released me at Dhekiajuli village in Assam, I thought they would shoot me," he said.