Centre taking steps to secure release of 4 Indians: Vayalar

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Chennai, Oct 29 (UNI) The Union Government is taking all steps to secure the safe release of four Indians, including three from Tamil Nadu, who were abducted for ransom by gunmen in Nigeria, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said today.

Of the four, three hailed from southern Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu and the other from Maharashtra, and were working in an Italian oil firm when they were abducted by unidentified men at gun point on Friday last. Two Polish nationals were also abducted by the gunmen.

Talking to newspersons here, Mr Ravi said the Centre was taking all steps to secure their early release. ''We are in touch with the Indian Embassy in Nigeria and the company where the Indians are working. They promised to extend all support to us.'' ''We are confident of securing safe and early release of the Indians,'' he added.

Mr Ravi said it might take some time as during the previous occasion, when ten Indians were kidnapped in Nigeria, they were released in about three to four days.

Urging those going abroad for work to go with proper documents, he said they should also get an assurance from their employer on security before taking up the job.

''We cannot stop them (from going abroad). But they have to ascertain whether proper security has been put in place (to avoid such incidents),'' he added.

Mr Ravi said it was an important security issue. ''But we cannot do anything as it had happened in Nigeria. However, we are confident of getting their safe release.'' ''Only after their release the government can decide on the security concerns with that government,'' he added.

UNI

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