One of two kidnapped Indians in Libya escapes

New Delhi: One of the two Indians kidnapped in Libya’s Sirte has managed to escape, according to reports received on Thursday by the Indian mission.

Pravash Ranjan Samal from Odisha managed to escape from his kidnappers, suspected to be Islamic State (IS) militants. He called up his friend to say that he had escaped, the Indian embassy in Tripoli has learnt, said informed sources.

According to the sources, Samal was working in Sirte for many years and had married a Filipino nurse.
There is no news of the other person abducted, Ramamurthy Kosanam of Andhra Pradesh.

On Wednesday, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup had said that the two Indians had “apparently been taken from Ibn-e-Sina in Sirte where they had been working, and detained”.

He said the Indian mission in Tripoli is in touch with the local people, who can help in securing release of the Indian nationals. “The matter has also been taken up at diplomatic level”, he said, adding: “All efforts are being made to ensure the well-being and secure early release of our nationals.”

In July, four Indian nationals — Ramakrishna and Vijay Kumar of Bengaluru and Balram and Gopikrishna of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh respectively — were taken captive in Sirte by suspected IS men. Two of them, Ramakrishna and Vijay Kumar – who were employed in the university of Sirte – were released later. There is no news of the other two men. Sirte, the hometown of the country’s slain dictator, Muammar Qaddafi, is reported to be under the control of the IS.

Libya has been witnessing continuing violence with the IS spreading its hold over large parts of the north African Arab country. There is continuous fighting between rival governments ruling two different parts of the country.