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 7 Indians abducted in Afghanistan


7 Indians abducted in Afghanistan

Last Updated on : 7 May,2018 | Source : Universal News Timeline

New Delhi:
Seven Indian engineers were abducted from northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan on Sunday morning. The men, as per unconfirmed reports, were travelling in a minibus when they were taken hostage by unidentified assailants near Bagh-e-Shamal village in Pul-e-Khomre city, the capital of Baghlan province.

While no group has taken responsibility so far for the abduction, international news agencies quoted Baghlan authorities as blaming the Taliban.  Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “We are aware of the abduction of Indian nationals from Baghlan province. We are in contact with the Afghan authorities and further details are being ascertained.”

The abducted engineers are working for KEC, an Indian company with the RPG group that was awarded a contract in 2013 to erect a 220-KV transmission line between Chimtala and Kabul. KEC has collaborated with the government-run Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) that operates power stations in the war-torn country. 

RPG Group chairman Harsh Goenka reached out to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on social media, seeking help for the rescue of the abducted men. 

With its over $2 billion assistance towards rebuilding Afghanistan, India is involved in several infrastructure projects, including construction of dams, highways and other buildings. An estimated 150 Indian engineers and technical experts are involved in various projects on the ground.

Afghan media house Tolo news quoted Baghlan governor Abdulhai Nemati as saying that the Indians were mistaken for government employees and efforts were on to release them “through tribe elders and mediation”. Sources also, meanwhile, asked the media to exercise caution in reporting so as not to “hamper efforts at successful resolution of the crisis”.

There have been instances of Indians getting kidnapped in Afghanistan in the past in 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, with the release of hostages secured in most cases. In 2016, an Indian aid worker kidnapped in Kabul was released after 40 days.

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