| PC Ram
Kokrajhar/Guwahati, June 30: A body dug out from a pit in an Assam village today was identified as that of FCI executive director P.C. Ram, who was abducted by the Ulfa two-and-a-half months ago.
The post-mortem report, made available to The Telegraph tonight, said the victim’s throat was slit and he was stabbed in the back.
“He was killed five to six days ago,” a senior police officer said.
He claimed that Ram’s family had paid a “huge sum” in the first instalment of the ransom, and the kidnappers had promised to free their hostage after receiving the second one.
“What is shocking is that an Ulfa militant called up Ram’s son Pravin in Ghaziabad this afternoon asking for the second instalment.”
Pravin denied both the payment and the phone call.
Ram’s adopted daughter, June Murmu, identified the body but the state government and the police said they would wait for other family members to “corroborate the identification”.
“It is best to be 100 per cent sure in such cases,” the officer said, adding that the police were “practically certain” the body was Ram’s.
Sources said Ram, the FCI’s Northeast chief, may have become a burden for the militants after the search operations were intensified, slowing down their movements.
“This may have prompted them to get rid of him,” an officer said.
The police dug the body out in the presence of a magistrate after residents of Anandapur in western Assam’s Baksa district told them there were signs of a recent burial in the village.
The body was brought to Barama police station this morning and later taken to the Nalbari civil hospital for the post-mortem. The police said it would be brought to Guwahati for Ram’s family to come and identify it.
A team of senior FCI officials and union leaders, who rushed to Nalbari today, too have identified the body.
Ram was abducted with his driver Rabiram Basumatary while returning from his office to his apartment on April 17. The driver was freed near Barpeta town a few days later.
The Ulfa was said to have asked for a Rs 21-crore ransom immediately after the abduction. It later demanded the release of two of its jailed “battalion commanders” — Mrinal Hazarika and Pallav Saikia — in exchange for Ram’s freedom.