Big relief for abducted sailors' kin

Big relief for abducted sailors' kin

Big relief for abducted sailors' kin

Sampla Arya, the wife of 30-year-old Indian Sailor Ravinder Singh Gulia, held hostage by Somali pirates since August last year, will see her husband after 10-months.

 Gulia is among the six Indians who have been released by pirates after receiving a ransom of a whopping 2.1 million dollars. All the Indian sailors are on their way back home to unite with their families, albeit the happiness is loaded with a grave sense of hurt that the Indian government and politicians did little to help them out of the crisis, the families allege.
Sampla Arya said, “I am excited my husband is safe and returning home. I spoke to him over phone after months. But its sad the Indian government did little to help us,” she said.
Much of the credit for saving the lives of those held hostage goes to Pakistan-based Ansar Burney Trust run by Pakistan's former federal minister for human rights, Ansar Burney. Burney, who went all the way to Suez in Egypt, said paying ransom was against the UN norms.

Burney also provided monetary support to the shipping company attempting to secure the release of the crew.

The Indians were among the 22 crew members of MV Suez, an Egyptian cargo vessel which was hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden on Aug 2 last year.

“Burney had been negotiating with the pirates for the last few months,” Sampla said, adding, that she even met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul Gandhi, but to little effect.

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