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Karnataka teachers freed by ISIS are safe, to return soon

ISIS-4_6

Bengaluru: Two teachers from Karnataka who were released from alleged captivity of Islamic State terror group (ISIS) in Libya on Saturday said they are safe and would return to India very soon.

“I and Laxmikanth are safe here (Libya),” Vijay Kumar, one of the teachers, said over phone.

Lakshmikanth, who hails from Raichur in north Karnataka, said he has not seen his five-month-old baby girl ever since her birth. “I was not even sure whether I will be able to see my daughter,” he said.

Kumar said Indian embassy officials in Tripoli were working out the schedule for their return.

“There are no (air) tickets from Tripoli, now. I don’t know what arrangements the embassy is going to make. Tomorrow the councillor will visit us and plan for our safe return,” he said.

Both Kumar and Lakshmikanth said no harm was done to them during captivity and they were treated quite well.

Kumar who spoke to his wife over phone asked her and his parents not to worry about him and Lakshmikanth.

Both Lakshmikanth and Kumar spoke over phone to a Kannada TV channel and to their wives in the conversation arranged by it.

Kumar also said he would not return to Libya and has already tendered his resignation from the teacher’s job. “I wouldn’t go back to Libya.”

“I have already resigned my teaching job,” Kumar added.

Lakshmikanth said the University had asked them not to resign and promised to take care of their stay in Libya.

Kumar’s wife Sunitha said she was confident of her husband coming back, but the incident had “hurt” them and they were worried about his safety as well of three others who were held captive.

“I was very confident that my husband will return, but the sense of losing was taking a toll of me, emotionally. One who undergoes such a tense moment, only can understand,” she said.

Overcome by relief, Lakshmikanth’s wife Pratibha said she was unable to express her happiness over the release of her husband.

Kumar and Lashmikanth thanked Indian authorities for their help.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had yesterday tweeted about the release Lakshmikanth and Vijay Kumar.

Four Indian teachers, including two others from Hyderabad, were kidnapped in Libya allegedly by the ISIS while returning to India from Tripoli on July 29. Efforts are on to secure the release of two others from Hyderabad.

PTI