NEW DELHI: One of the two Indians, who were abducted in Sirte in war-torn Libya, has managed to flee from captivity and he has established contact with his family in Odisha and one of his friends.
Sources in Delhi said that Pravash Ranjan Samal, a bio-medical engineer hailing from Odisha, escaped from his captors and conveyed to one of his friends that he was fine.
Samal(48) and Ramamurthy Kosanam, a resident of Andhra Pradesh, were abducted reportedly a few days ago from Ibn-e-Sina in Sirte where they were working.
The sources said efforts are on to secure the release of Kosanam who was reported to be safe.
Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Vikas Swarup yesterday said that abduction of the two Indians from Sirte has been taken up at diplomatic level. Sirte is under the control of the Islamic State terror group, which is steadily expanding its influence in central Libya.
In Odisha, family members of Samal said they received a call from him today and were told he has been "released."
"Pravas called us today afternoon. Though he told he has been released, his voice was tense and edgy. He stammered and faltered while speaking," Samal's elder brother Bibhu Padarabinda told reporters at Rourkela in Odisha.
He said, "Pravas did tell his whereabouts and the exact place from where he was speaking. He cried like a child. He pleaded us to rescue him from the inhospitable alien land. The call lasted for less than 3 minutes. The call was made from an unknown number which has been switched off since then."
Samal hails from Bhagabanpur area in Kendrapara town.
The family members said they received the call from Samal at around 2.25 PM today.
"I was old by a friend yesterday evening about my elder brother’s disappearance from his workplace in Libya. It was a bolt from the blue for us. He has been serving in Libya since 2000. During Libyan civil war in 2011 year, he stayed there safely.
We are praying for his safe return. We believe better sense would prevail among the militants to release as he was serving for the people of their country," said Bikram, younger brother of Samal.
The state administration was maintaining constant touch with the higher-ups and the Samal family.
"All of us hope that Pravas returns unharmed," Kendrapara Collector Debraj Senapati said.
In July, four Indian teachers were kidnapped in Libya allegedly by the Islamic terrorists and release of two of was secured by the government.
The two other nationals remain in the custody of Islamic militants for past more than one-and-a-half months.
According to AP government officials in Delhi, Kosanam as well as the two other nationals--all Telugu speaking persons--are safe.
They identified the teachers still in captivity as T Gopikrishna and Ch Balram, both of whom hail from Hyderabad.
According to the officials, top officials at the Indian Embassy in Libya were contacted today, who have said that the trio were safe.