In the wake of a spate of kidnappings of Indian nationals in Nigeria, the government has issued a security advisory cautioning Indians against travel to the interiors of that country. A dozen Indians have been kidnapped in Nigeria over the past few weeks, Navtej Sarna, spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday.
Family members of Indians working for the Indorama company in Rivers state of Nigeria have been evacuated after the kidnapping of 10 employees of the firm there on June 1, Sarna said. Those abducted four days ago include Indorama's Managing Director Arun Taneja and two women and two children.
The two Indians kidnapped over a fortnight ago also continue to remain in captivity while the company negotiates the terms for their release.
The abductees are all reported to be "ok" after contact was established with them on Sunday, Sarna said.
The Indian government is in touch with the Nigerian authorities to facilitate their early release, Sarna said. But it is the company which is negotiating with the abductors, and its officials have spoken to one of the abductees on Sunday. Indorama has sent a Director-level officer to Nigeria to negotiate with the kidnappers to try and secure the early release of those kidnapped, Sarna said, clarifying that the government was not aware of ransom demands or reasons for the abductions.
The Indian High Commission in Abuja is facilitating measures for the security of 40 Indians who remain at the site in Port Harcourt and is trying to ensure their safe movement. Family members of the Indian employees of the company have been evacuated to Lagos, Sarna said, and the Indian High Commission was assisting those who wish to return to India.
The High Commission has taken up the matter of Indians' security with Nigerian Foreign Ministry and National Security Adviser while the External Affairs Ministry took up the issue with the Nigerian High Commission in India.
The Indian employees of the Jakarta-based Indorama were abducted by some armed people after an attack on their residential complex on June 1.
Two Indians who belonged to a subsidiary company of Indorama were abducted earlier and their whereabouts are also unknown.