2 abducted Indians freed in Nigeria

New Delhi: Two Indians, abducted last month from Benue state of Nigeria, were released on Saturday, the External Affairs Ministry said here.

“Mr Mangapudi Srinivas and Mr Kaushal Anish Sharma, who were kidnapped in the morning of 29 June from an area called Boko, near Makurdi in Benue state of Nigeria, were released today morning at 1030 hrs IST.

“Both have spoken to their families. Sharma’s wife profusely thanked the External Affairs Minister for ensuring safe release.

“She also thanked the Ministry and the Mission for keeping the family informed of developments almost on daily basis,” MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.

The duo — Srinivas from Andhara Pradesh and his colleague Sharma from Karnataka — were travelling to Dangote Cement Plc Plant in a car from their residential quarters when a group of armed men had abducted them at a traffic signal on June 29 at Boko in Benue state.

Swarup had earlier said that “as far as our information goes there is no hand of terror group Boko Haram and it seems local criminal elements were responsible for the act.”

It was “nothing surprising or new in that area,” as such incidents keep happening there, he said.

The Dangote Group is a Nigerian multinational industrial conglomerate, the largest in West Africa.

Eleven Indians jailed in Nigeria were released earlier this month. They were languishing in a Nigerian jail for two years. Employees of a Merchant Navy firm, the crew’s ship got stranded in Nigeria and the entire crew was arrested for violating laws of international waters in 2014.


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