- Date: February 17, 2011
Three WWF-India volunteers, held since February 6, have been released unharmed. The three men were part of the team of six volunteers who were abducted on February 6, 2011 near Ultapani in Western Assam in India. On February 8, three women volunteers who were also part of the six member team, were released unharmed. The WWF-India volunteers has been conducting field monitoring for the All India Tiger Estimation Project in the Chirang Forest Division of Western Assam.
WWF-India thanks the Government of India, officials of the Government of Assam including those from the Bodoland Territorial Council, Police Department, Forest Department, District Administration as well as the armed and paramilitary forces who worked towards the release of the volunteers.
WWF-India would also like to thank the people, the media and civil society of Assam for their unprecedented concern and unity in appealing for the release of the volunteers. In particular, WWF-India would like to acknowledge the appeals of the All Assam Students’ Union, All Bodo Students’ Union and the Lower Assam NGOs’ Forum among others, and is thankful to the families of the abducted volunteers as well as the volunteers themselves, who, despite their ordeal, showed extraordinary courage and patience. Finally, WWF-India thanks its team in Assam lead by Dr. Anupam Sarmah who worked selflessly for the safe release of the young volunteers. WWF looks forward to continued work for the conservation of nature and the ecological values of the region.