GUWAHATI, Feb 8 – Expressing serious concern over the well-being of their volunteers who were abducted on February 6 by an armed group and three of which were yet to be set free, WWF-India today made an urgent appeal for their immediate release.
In a statement released to the media, it mentioned that the volunteers were abducted from an area near Ultapani in Chirang Reserve Forest on Sunday the afternoon. They were part of the WWF team carrying out tiger habitat occupancy surveys in the area.
“These committed individuals were working towards helping to conserve the important biodiversity of the area for the larger benefit of the local community, the state and the region. Conservation is an apolitical activity that contributes to the well-being of people, society and nature”.
The official statement mentioned, “We are deeply distressed that our innocent volunteers, while carrying out field work which has no bearing on any political agenda, have been made the target of an armed group.”
Along with the families of the volunteers, WWF-India have appealed to the group and individuals involved in the abduction for the safe and immediate release of all those innocent individuals. “We also thank the Bodoland Territorial Council, local administration, civil society groups, the media and others for their continued support in trying to resolve this crisis, it said.
We are hopeful that this appeal will be heard and responded to,” the statement added.