Recounting horror tales of Libya

Safely home

But destiny had willed otherwise for this civil engineer who was caught in the cross-fire between the Libyan armed forces and the rebels.

Having escaped from the jaws of death and reunited with his family here, Sameer is no more interested in working off-shores, particularly in any African or Gulf countries. “It was a nightmarish experience for all the 676 employees of our company. We were living in constant fear and not sure when we would be gunned down,” Sameer recounts his horror story.

“The Libyans were on a killing spree. None of us knew when we would be robbed, or our laptop looted, or money snatched. The fear of bomb attacks only added to our discomfiture. So we took turns to sleep,” said Sameer.

It started on February 17, when local gun-toting Libyans started shelling and demonstrating. “The turn of events was so fast that we could not even react to it. All we knew was that we had to stay, eat and pray together to ward off any threat. We huddled together in a makeshift house, but were left with a small quantity of food.

Instead of four chapattis, we ate two to save food,” he recounted. How did he manage to stay in touch with his family members? “The government of Libya was kind enough to get our mobile recharged for 100 dinars. Internet service was slow, but whenever we could connect, we would email our kith and kin,” Sameer said.

Thanking profusely the Centre for making arrangements to evacuate those trapped in Libya, Sameer said, “When we landed at Mumbai airport, each of us was given Rs 5,000 for our onward journey.”

Eventually, Sameer took a train to Patna where his mother Uma Srivastava spent sleepless nights to meet her son. At 3 am, when the door bell rang, Uma could not hold back her tears when she saw Sameer at the gate. “Now, I will not allow him to go abroad,” Uma said in her first reaction.

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