Thursday, 15 September 2016

Indians Captured By ISIS in Libya Freed

2 Indian Professors Rescued In Libya, Families Relieved



Hyderabad:  Family members of two Indians, who were rescued after being held captive in Libya for over a year, have heaved a sigh of relief and expressed happiness after getting the news.

The two Indians - T Gopikrishna from Andhra Pradesh and C Balaram Kishan from Telangana, who were teaching at Libya's Sirte University, were abducted by ISIS terrorists in July last year.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted, "I am happy to inform that T Gopalakrishna (Gopikrishna) (AP) & C BalaramKishan (Telangana) who were captive in Libya since 29 July, 2015 have been rescued."

"We were informed around midnight by the MEA, Libyan government officials and others that he (Balaram) has been rescued along with Gopikrishna. My husband also spoke to me this morning...It (conversation) was only a few seconds...he enquired about our children and me and other family members," Mr Balram's wife Sridevi said.

"Entire family is happy that he has been rescued and out of danger...I heard my husband's voice after more than a year...It's God's grace," Ms Sridevi said.

Mr Balaram's family, which resides in Secunderabad and were anxiously waiting for the safe return of their loved one, said, "We were worried a lot and now are happy that he is safe and are waiting for his return to Hyderabad."

"...now I am 100 per cent relieved. We are waiting for more updates on when he is likely to fly back to India and come to Hyderabad," Ms Sridevi added.

Mr Gopikrishna's kin too expressed joy over his release.

"It is almost 14 months since July last year that my family members had spoken to him (Gopikrishna) after he was taken captive in Libya. We were informed about his release from MEA officials besides also from Libyan officials and also through information given by his friend on social networking sites," Mr Gopikrishna's brother Muralikrishna said who stays in Hyderabad's Nacharam area.

"He spoke to our parents (who stay in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh) over phone and told that he is safe...my parents in-turn informed me about the same," he added.

Mr Muralikrishna said both Balaram and Gopikrishna were rescued by military and they will be taken to Tripoli most likely by this evening and are likely to return to Hyderabad may be in another three to four days.

Mr Gopikrishna worked as a faculty in computer education.

Telugu teachers rescued from IS captivity in Libya return home


Hyderabad, Sep 24: Two Telugu teachers, who were rescued last week after over a year-long captivity by Islamic State (IS) terrorists in Libya, returned home on Saturday. T. Gopikrishna and C. Balram Kishan reached here from New Delhi in the early hours.

They merely said they were happy to reunite with their families, but declined to answer any queries from the media or share their experiences in captivity.

The two teachers of the University of Sirte were abducted by Islamic State (IS) terrorists on July 29, 2015 while on their way to Tripoli airport to return to India. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had announced on September 15 that they had been rescued.

Gopikrishna (35), an Assistant Professor at the University of Sirte, belongs to Tekkali in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, while Balram Kishan (52), a Professor at the same university, hails from Telangana's Karimnagar district.
"I am very happy to reunite with my family. I don't have any words to express my happiness," said Gopikrishna talking to media persons at his residence in Nacharam here.

He thanked the Libyan Army and the Government of India, especially the Ministry of External Affairs. "Thanks to their efforts, I could safely come back and reunite with my family," said Gopikrishna flanked by his wife and daughter.

"I am really excited to return home after long captivity. I have already given all information to the Ministry of External Affairs as to what happened during my 414-day captivity," he said. Gopikrishna declined to speak on how they were freed and how they were treated in captivity.

"I can't reveal all those details to you. I have given the information to the ministry," he said.

The two teachers had reached New Delhi on Friday, after which officials of the Ministry of External Affairs met and debriefed them.
Balram taught English and Gopikrishna Computer Science at Sirte University. They were among the four Indians kidnapped by IS the same day. Two of them were released a few days later.
Lakshmikant and Vijay Kumar, hailing from Karnataka, had returned safely following their release earlier.

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