‘Steps being taken to secure Indian abducted in Afghanistan’

December 26th, 2008 - 7:00 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanChennai, Dec 26 (IANS) The government is making all efforts to secure the release of P. Simon, who was abducted by terrorists in Afghanistan two months ago, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said here Friday. “We have been taking necessary actions to secure the safe release of Simon. The ministry of external affairs is trying to secure his release through the Afghan government,” Vayalar Ravi said at a press conference here.

Simon, a cook from Tamil Nadu’s Villupuram village, was kidnapped Oct 13 by the Taliban, who are demanding a Rs.10 million ransom for his release either from his Italian employers or from his family.

The deadline given by the abductors ends Sunday and they have threatened to kill Simon if they do not get the money.

The minister, however, said that the government is not inclined to give a warning advice to citizens against working in Afghanistan as it was done in the case of Iraq.

The victim’s wife P.S. Vasanthi Wednesday expressed her inability to cough up the ransom amount and said: “While me and my two sons, aged 9 and 6, are virtually starving here without any information about my husband, we hear that the Taliban are demanding a ransom of Rs.1.5 crores (Rs.15 million or $312,000) from his Italian employers or from us. We have been told that failure to pay will result in his being killed.”

Vayalar Ravi, meanwhile, also said that the Congress party would not have any truck with those who support banned terrorist organisations like the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“The LTTE is a banned organisation. The Congress party will not have any relationship with organisations that support LTTE.”

Congress leaders in the state have been demanding stringent legal action against organisations and individuals supporting LTTE in the state, specially after the party headquarters here came under attack by supporters of the Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi (VCK), believed to be pro-LTTE.

In the 235-member Tamil Nadu assembly, the ruling DMK has 95 MLAs, supported by 35 Congress legislators and a sole VCK legislator.

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