NEW DELHI: Two Telugu teachers abducted in Libya a year ago have been released, with their families heaving a huge sigh of relief.
Anxiously waiting and praying for their safe return for more than a year, the families of the two teachers were excited as the news of their release was broken by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday.
"I am happy to inform that T. Gopalakrishna (AP) and C. Balaram Kishan (Telangana) who were captive in Libya since July 29, 2015 have been rescued," she tweeted.
Gopalakrishna and Balaram Kishan were teachers at the University of Sirte and were abducted by Islamic State (IS) terrorists while they were on their way to Tripoli airport to return to India.
The news brought cheers to the families on Ganesh Nimajjanam, which culminates the 11-day festival. The family members distributed sweets and thanked the government of India.
I am happy to inform that T Gopalakrishna (AP) & C BalaramKishan (Telangana) who were captive in Libya since 29 July 2015 have been rescued.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) September 15, 2016
Kalyani said her husband spoke to her over phone on Wednesday night and informed her that he was released safely. "Gopalakrishna spoke briefly to inform me that he has been released and safe," she said.
Gopalakrishna, an assistant professor at the University of Sirte, belongs to Tekkali in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, while Balram Kishan, an English professor, also works at the same university and hails from Telangana's Karimnagar district.
The family members of the two teachers said they were yet to receive an official word as to when they will be returning home.
They were among four Indians kidnapped by IS on the same day. Two of them were released a few days later.
Lakshmikant and Vijay Kumar, hailing from Karnataka, had returned safely following their release.
Meanwhile, Telangana Minister for Non-Resident Indian (NRI) Affairs K. Tarakarama Rao thanked Sushma Swaraj over release of the two engineers. "Thanks very much madam.#Respect," he tweeted.