Our hope is alive, say families of kidnapped Indian workers in Afghanistan
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Our hope is alive, say families of kidnapped Indian workers in Afghanistan

Six Indians working for an infrastructure company in Afghanistan were kidnapped in Baghlan province of the country last month.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2018 08:02 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Indian workers,Afghanistan,kidnap
Deputy National Security Advisor of India Rajinder Khanna with ministry officials and Afghan National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar during India-Afghan security meet, in Kabul on May 30. (PTI file photo)

A month after six Indian workers in Afghanistan were kidnapped, their families are still waiting for news of their whereabouts. Government officials said they are working with Afghan government officials to find and release the Indian nationals who were kidnapped in Baghlan province of the country.

“It is like clinging to hope and struggling to ensure that the hope stays alive every day. It is very difficult for us”, said Doman Singh on Wednesday from Laua Lagan village in Chausa block in Madhepur district of Bihar. His brother Mantu Singh is one of the kidnapped workers.

The Indian nationals are all employees of KEC International Limited, an infrastructure company that recently won Rs 226-crore contract in the war-torn country as a sub-contractor for the state-owned Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS), which operates power generating stations.

Mantu Singh has been working with the company since 2014.

“We are poor people. My brother has a wife and two children ( a son, aged 15 and a daughter 13). This job was everything for them. The entire village is in shock about the incident,” Doman Singh said over phone.

The issue has also assumed political dimensions with leaders of the opposition Congress party urging the government to do more.

“We request the central government to redouble the efforts to secure his release. We also urge the state government to help the family and this employer to be more humane in the approach,” said Keshav Kumar Singh, secretary of the Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee.

The human resources manager of the company who signed Mantu Singh’s contract letter declined comment .

Indian officials said the matter has been taken up with Afghanistan government and no efforts are being spared to secure the release of the Indians.

“External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj spoke to her counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani and Indian ambassador in Kabul Vinay Kumar is regularly following it up with the authorities. The minister is also regularly in touch with company officials”, said an Indian official who asked not to be identified.

“Confidentiality is needed for such negotiations to bear fruit,” external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said in a press conference last month.

First Published: Jun 07, 2018 07:40 IST