Freed from hostage, 2 lecturers to return from Libya on Aug 4

Duo prays for release of two other Indians abducted on July 29

Freed from hostage, 2 lecturers to return from Libya on Aug 4

Two lecturers from Karnataka, who were held hostage in Libya and subsequently released by Islamic State (IS) ultras, would arrive in India on August 4.

The lecturers are safe and all arrangements have been made to ensure their safe return to India.

“We are safe and are currently at Tripoli. I will be arriving in Hyderabad and head towards Raichur, while Vijay Kumar will land at Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, on August 4 at 7.30 pm,” Lakshmikanth, a native of Raichur district, told Deccan Herald over the phone from Tripoli said.

“We are not completely happy as two of our fellow beings are still hostages. We are praying for their safe release and hope that they too will join us,” Vijay Kumar said.

The two lecturers, faculty at the University of  Sirte, said: “We are highly indebted to our profession as the ultras released just because we are teachers. We pleaded with them to spare our lives and told them that we honestly followed Islam the moment after we landed in Libya. We also assured them that we will follow Islam once we return to India.”
Even after repeated pleas, the two were not sure about their release. “Some of the boys there were our students. They were shocked to see us and apologised.

“They contacted their handlers and informed them about our background. There were a number of meetings to decide our fate. Finally, a few of the handlers announced that we will be set free,” Lakshmikanth said.

“The handlers told us that we had done a good job by teaching their wards. They said that they would release us only on condition that we would continue to follow Islam once we were back in India. They released us only after our assurances,” he said.

It was tough for the two as they said they had given up hopes of returning safely. “We have seen many video footage of hostages being beheaded mercilessly. We thought we would also meet the same fate. However our profession and assurance saved us,” Vijay Kumar said.

The two  were abducted along with two other Indian teachers, T Gopikrishna and Balaram Krishna, on July 29 and were released after two days.

The four were "detained" when they were trying to leave Sirte in two cars.
The two said they would remember the assistance of their car driver Abdullah. “ He contacted the Indian High Commission and the local police about the incident and efforts were made for our safe release,” he said.

Lakshmikanth said he wants to see his  daughter who was born just six  months ago as soon as he reaches India, while Vijay Kumar wants to see his family. Both thanked god and the Indian government for their release.

Lakshmikath said he has not decided whether to settle in India or return to Libya for the job, while Vijay Kumar has decided to quit.

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