Abduction may be for ransom: Afghan agencies

nation Updated: Jun 12, 2016 12:16 IST

KOLKATA: Even 48 hours after Kolkata resident Judith D’Souza was abducted by gun men in Kabul in Afghanistan, there is no major headway into the investigation.

Officials from the Indian Embassy in Kabul claimed that Afghan security agencies investigating the case had detained two suspects and are interrogating them. They suspect that Judith was kidnapped by an organised abduction racket for ransom.

“Investigation is still on. Afghan security agencies are suspecting that the gunmen hail from the Shomali Plains, a plateau in the north of Kabul. A local security agency has detained two suspects for interrogation. We are keeping our fingers crossed,” an official from the Indian Embassy in Kabul. Judith, a resident of CIT Road in Entally here, is a gender specialist with the A ga Khan Foundation and was based in Kabul for the last 16 months.

Around 10pm on Thursday, Judith was heading for her office accommodation in the Taimani region when gunmen stopped her car in the vicinity of the Qala-e-Fatullah area and kidnapped Judith along with her personal security guard and driver. No militant agencies accepted responsibility for the abduction.

“Investigators feel that not errorist groups are involved in this incident. In all likelihood, she has been held by an organised abduction racket that kidnaps foreign nationals for ransom. There have been a few cases of such abductions in the past in the Qala-e-Fatullah area,” an embassy officer said.

The Indian embassy in Kabul has been in touch with Afghan authorities to ensure Judith’s safe release. In a tweet, Indian ambassador to Afghanistan, Manpreet Vohra, said, “Everyone, especially Afghan security agencies, is working hard on this. Let us pray for early success. We and our Afghan partners will try our best.” In Kolkata, local Trinamool Cong ress MLA Swarnakamal Saha went to Judith’s residence on Saturday afternoon and promised all help from the state government.

TMC’s Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien is keeping a close watch on the case and has also taken up the issue with the external affair ministry. (With PTI inputs)

First Published: Jun 12, 2016 07:29 IST