New Delhi, March 31: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced the release of 29 Indian workers from Saudi Arabia and 2 Indian nationals who were abducted by rebels in South Sudan. Minister Swaraj also appreciated the efforts of Indian Ambassador Srikumar Menon in South Sudan for the release of Indian nationals.
Minister Swaraj announced both the good news via Twitter on Friday. Earlier she tweeted that the government has rescued 29 Indian workers from Saudi Arabia and is also paying for their flight tickets. The External Affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj tweeted, “We have rescued those 29 workers from Saudi Arabia. We are paying for their air tickets as well.”
Notably, Minister Swaraj was approached by Telangana minister K T Rama Rao who had sought her intervention in the rescue of the 29 migrant workers from the state held in captivity by a company in Saudi Arabia. KT Rama Rao is a Telangana’s NRI Affairs, had written to Swaraj sharing a media report which said the workers were held in captivity without any food or basic amenities and that the company had demanded USD 50,000 from each of the employees before allowing them to leave.
Within a few hours later, Minister Swaraj again tweeted and informed about the release of two Indian nationals who were abducted by rebels in South Sudan. She also appreciated the efforts of Indian Ambassador Srikumar Menon in South Sudan for the release of Indian nationals.
She tweeted, “I am happy to inform about the release of two Indian nationals Midhun and Edward who were abducted in South Sudan.” The another tweet read, “I appreciate the efforts of Indian Ambassador in South Sudan Srikumar Menon for the release of Indian nationals.”
Importantly, the news came to light after Production Operator at South Sudan’s Dar Petroleum Operating Company, Ajay Raja, and tweeted Thursday night thanking Swaraj for her timely intervention in the matter. The Indian engineers, Midhun Ganesh (25) and A. Edward (40), were abducted on March 8 this year while working on the field. As per sources, the abduction was carried out by Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO).
Interestingly, this is not the first time when Indian government and Minister Sushma Swaraj intervened for the safety and security of Indian nationals residing abroad. Earlier in the month of February this year, the government of India announced the release of five Indian nationals belongs to Kerala, serving the prison term in African nation Togo. All these five Indians, the employees of a Merchant Navy firm were in a prison since July 2013 for their suspected involvement in a piracy attack off the coast of Togo. They were sailing on board a ship from Mumbai to South Africa when they were arrested.