The family of Odisha's Prabhas Ranjan Samal, one of the two Indians abducted by the IS from Sirte in war-torn Libya, on Thursday appealed the extremist group to free him and also asked authorities to help secure his release.
The ministry of external affairs had said on Wednesday that two Indians - Samal from Hantapada village of Kendrapara district and Ramamurthy Kosanam from Andhra Pradesh - working in Libya were "detained" by an unidentified group in the conflict-ridden Sirte.
"My brother was only serving the people of Libya. The militants should release him as he is innocent. I also appeal the central government, Odisha government and Kendrapara MP Baijayanta Panda to ensure the safety and security of my brother and bring him back home," Samal's elder brother Bibhu Padarabinda Nayak told HT.
Nayak, who works in the state police department in Rourkela, said Samal kept in touch regularly, but he lost contact with his brother from August 20.
Samal, who was adopted by Nayak's maternal uncle, works in a hospital in Sirte as a bio-medical engineer. He has a degree in engineering and was living in Libya for the past 13 years. He is married to a Filipino woman, who works in another hospital in Tripoli, and has two sons. They live in the Philippines with their mother's family.
Nayak said he first received the information of Samal's abduction from his wife.
"I have not informed my ailing mother about the incident because it would be a huge shock to her," he said.
The ministry of external affairs' spokesperson Vikas Swarup said on Wednesday that all efforts are being made to ensure their well-being and to secure their early release.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has condemned the abduction of the Indian nationals and asked Odisha resident commissioner in Delhi S Bharagav to be in constant touch with the external affairs ministry.
Samal and Kosanam's abduction comes almost a month and a half after two Indians were abducted from the same area by a group claiming allegiance to the Islamic State (IS).
The two Indians, who are still in captivity since they were abducted on July 29, have been identified as T Gopikrishna, an assistant professor in computer science, and K Balram, an assistant professor in English, who worked with Sirte University's Jufra branch.