Bengaluru: Second Indian freed from Libya returns to City

Bengaluru, Aug 4 (IANS) Vijay Kumar, the second Indian released by the Islamic State (IS) militants in Libya last week, returned to Bengaluru on Tuesday night to a warm welcome by his family and friends.

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“I am happy to be back in India and Bengaluru. The ordeal is over finally,” a relieved Vijay Kumar told reporters soon after landing at the Kempegowda international airport from Tunisia via Dubai.

A lecturer at the University of Sirte in Libya, he was freed on Saturday along with Laxmikant Ramakrishna from Raichur in north Karnataka, about 490km from here.

“We are releasing you as you taught our students. You go to India and practice Islam,” Kumar cited his abductors telling him while releasing them.

Asserting that their abductors treated them well and did not harm or even touched them, Kumar said they asked him if he was a Muslim.

“When I told that am an Indian have been here (in Libya) for over four years to teach their students, they respected and told we can go to India,” Kumar said, adding some of them (abductors) wielding guns were his students not long ago.

Ramakrshina, another lecturer at the same university, returned to Hyderabad earlier in the day and reached Raichur by late evening.

Vijakumar and Ramakrishna were abducted on July 29 along with two other Indians – T. Gopikrishna and Balaram Krishna from the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Gopikrishna and Krishna, who are also lecturers at the same university, are still in captive though safe.

“Let us pray for the safe release of other two (Gopikrishna and Krishna) for whom the university has set up a special committee to convince the abductors that they were not spies but teachers,” Kumar said.

All the four were first detained by the IS militants at a checkpoint after they left Sirte in two cars to Tunisia by road to catch a flight to India and were taken to an unknown destination in the city.

The duo reached the Indian embassy in Tripoli on July 31 and left for Dubai on Monday on way to India.

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