Libyan local militia releases nine Indian sailors after five months of captivitytext_fields
New Delhi: Nine Indian sailors who were captured by a local militia in Libya have been released. They have been in captivity since January.
Until the formalities are completed, the sailors will be in a hotel in Tripoli. Five of them are from Uttar Pradesh and one each from Rajasthan, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, and Gujarat.
The group contacted the Indian embassy in Tunisia on February 15 and said the Merchant Vessel MT Maya 1, where they were working, broke down near the coast of Libya. They were then taken into captivity by a local militia. After their release on Wednesday, the Indian Ambassador to Tunisia received the sailors in Tripoli, the capital of Libya.
After the officials were informed of the captivity, the matter was taken to the Libyan authorities to ensure the safety and repatriation of the sailors. The Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian mission kept family members of the Indian nationals updated.
Tabassum Mansoor, Principal of the Indian International School in Benghazi, and Ngulkham Jathom Gangte, the Ambassador of India to Tunisia are credited with the release of the sailors.
The Ambassador said the authorities of Libya were unsuccessful in rescuing the crew but the process gained pace after Monsoor got involved, reported India Today. Her connections in the House of Representatives and her well-recognised dedication to the welfare of Indian nationals in the country were significant in facilitating the release. She used her extensive network to negotiate with the rebels.
They worked in a ship owned by a Greek company Redwings Shipping SA and were sailing from Malta to Tripoli to transport petroleum products. The ship MAYA1 bearing a Cameroon flag was raided by the local armed group Az Zawiya near Al Maya Port in Zawia City.