Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 8
The government on Thursday said it was trying its best to free seven Indians who were kidnapped in Libya last month.
The early signs were promising as the kidnappers had got in touch with the Libyan employers of the Indians. The employers were shown photographs of the Indians which suggested that they were safe and sound so far, said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava.
He, however, regretted that they had landed in harm’s way by ignoring a four-year-old complete travel ban to Libya which is still in force.
The seven, from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and UP, were working for a construction and oil field supplies company and were kidnapped on September 14 while they were on their way to Tripoli airport to catch a flight to India.
The men had gone to work in Libya despite a September 2015 advisory which had asked Indian nationals to avoid travelling to Libya in view of the security situation there.
Later, in May 2016, the government imposed a complete travel ban irrespective of the purpose in view of the much deteriorated security situation. This travel ban is still in force.
The Indian Embassy in Tunisia, which handles matters relating to the welfare of Indian nationals in Libya, has reached out to the Libyan government authorities concerned, as also the international organisations present there, to seek their help in rescuing the Indian nationals.
The government is also in touch with their family members and has assured them that it is making all possible efforts, in consultation and coordination with Libyan authorities and the employer, to trace the Indians nationals and secure their release from captivity at the earliest, said Srivastava.