Irfan Jaffrey, a 32-year-old IT engineer who had been held hostage in Sudan by a group of armed men for the past three months, was reportedly released on Thursday afternoon, his family said. Sources in the ministry of external affairs confirmed the development.
HT, in its report published on Wednesday, had reported how Jaffrey had been robbed, assaulted and abducted from outside a Turkish restaurant in Sudan on March 11.
Jaffrey’s uncle Shakil Ahmed, 45, said that the family got a phone call from Trigyn Technologies Limited, the IT firm that Jaffrey was working for, on Wednesday and was told that the abductors had handed over Jaffrey’s custody to Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) chief around 3.30 pm IST.
“He will be taken to Al Fasher on Friday and then to Khartoum. He is likely to arrive in India on Saturday,” said Ahmed, adding that he spoke to Jaffrey on Wednesday night when the latter confirmed that he was safe.
Nafisa, 30, Jaffrey’s wife said, “I spoke to Irfan around 9.30 pm. He said he has been released, was given food, clothes and also had a haircut. He sounded stable.”
A senior official from the MEA, West Asia and North Africa (WANA) division, who did not wish to be named, said, “Our ambassador in Sudan has been informed by UNAMID that Jaffrey has been released and handed over to Sudanese authorities.
The ambassador is in touch with all concerned and is providing full facilitation.”
Irfan was abducted on March 11 from outside a Turkish restaurant in Al Faser where he had gone for dinner with a colleague.
Irfan’s abductors called his employers at Trigyn a few hours later and demanded a ransom of `32 lakh. As part of Trigyn’s contract with the UN, Irfan is one of the nearly 100 people working in Darfur on a UNAMID project.