Free from ISIS bondage, AP professors heap praise on Sushma

Free from ISIS bondage, AP professors heap praise on Sushma

By S. RAMA KRISHNA | Hyderabad | 25 September, 2016
Andhra Pradesh, ISIS hostages, Sushma Swaraj, MEA
Free from ISIS bondage, AP professors heap praise on Sushma

Two Telugu professors, Tiruveedhula Gopalakrishna and C. Balaram Kishan, returned to their homes in Hyderabad in the wee hours of Saturday after spending 414 days in captivity of terror outfit ISIS in Libya. They profusely thanked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for her constant support to them and their families back home and efforts to secure their release.

The two professors landed at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad at 4  am on Saturday and reached their respective homes in Nacharam and Alwal in the city by 6 am. They had reached New Delhi from Libya the night before. They were released from ISIS’ captivity on 15 September but were kept in the country for a few more days before being flown to India.

Also Read: NIA deradicalises ISIS accused, busts terror cells

A small team of Ministry of External Affairs accompanied them to their homes and enough care was taken to keep them away from media glare in New Delhi and Hyderabad. When The Sunday Guardian visited their homes, both professors refused to dwell on what happened during their captivity or what exactly led to their release.

“We have already explained everything to the MEA officials, and I am sorry, I cannot reveal or comment on this more. Please don’t ask me any questions regarding that,” said Gopalakrishna. He was visibly shaken and emotionally exhausted and often broke into tears while thanking everyone who prayed for his release from captivity. “I am very happy to be reunited with my family again,” he said.

Same is the situation with Balaram Kishan, who too was unwilling to speak about his captivity or how he walked free. “Please don’t ask all these questions as I am unable to answer them at this stage,” he said. His wife Sridevi told the media including this newspaper that he would talk later.

She thanked Sushma Swaraj immensely for being with the families all through the ordeal and assuring her of her husband’s safety. “How can I express my words of thanks to Sushma ji, who was the only hope for us? We fully believed in her words. We virtually lived on her words,” said Sridevi.

The two professors were teaching at the University of Sirte in Libya since 2007, and they wanted to come back home after ISIS captured vast areas around their university campus. They, along with two other colleagues from the same university, Lakshmi Kant and Vijaya Kumar, were abducted by the ISIS men. Kant and Vijay Kumar were set free within a week.

Sources close to the Telugu professors’ families told this newspaper that a combination of measures through official and unofficial channels had worked and led to their release. Since some more persons are still in the captivity of ISIS, the detailed account of their release is not being revealed, the sources explained. Officially, they said, a commando operation had led to the two professors’ release.

 

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