Punjab youth kidnapped in Sudan returns home

June 18th, 2008 - 10:25 pm ICT by IANS  


Amritsar, June 18 (IANS) A youth from Punjab, Surjit Singh, who escaped from the clutches of his kidnappers in Sudan, returned home Wednesday. He was given a warm welcome by close relatives, who arrived at the Rajasansi airport in this Sikh holy city from their village to welcome him.

Singh and three other Indians were kidnapped by Sudanese militants May 13. While one of them, Mohammed Adeef, returned to Mumbai after escaping from the kidnappers earlier June, another - Biplab Biswas - had gone missing in the jungles in Sudan after escaping.

“I am happy to be back after nearly 25 days in captivity. About 99 percent chances are that I will not go back to work abroad,” Surjit Singh told IANS minutes after landing here.

“Biswas got lost from Adeef after escaping. He is still in those jungles. I managed to escape later while the fourth Indian, Abhilash is still in captivity,” Singh said.

The Indians were working for oil and construction companies. Singh himself was working as crane operator with an Indian construction company, Nile Star. One Sudanese was also kidnapped with them.

He said that neither the Indian government nor his employer paid the ransom of $100,000 demanded by the militants.

“We escaped when our captors were engaged in fighting with the Sudanese army,” Singh said.

Singh said their captors treated them well for the first 10 days but became very rough after no ransom was paid. He said that no food was given to them for nearly 10 days.

Singh’s relatives, including his mother and sister, said they were relieved that he is back after the ordeal.

“We will not send him back again. This is his second life,” his mother said as they headed for their village Rangar Nangal, 60 km from here.

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