Chennai, Oct 30 (UNI) Family members were overjoyed when the three Tamils and a Maharashtrian, abducted by gunmen in Nigeria, were released this morning.
The abductors had demanded a ransom of Rs 250 crore and it was not immediately known whether the amount was paid.
Ajit Kamaraj, brother of Sudharsan Jayapal, one of the four held captive by the gunmen since October 26, told a private Tamil television channel that his brother telephoned from Nigeria and informed about their release.
Mr Kamaraj quoted his brother as saying that all the four were safe and they were not harassed by the abductors. The abductors served them food and treated them well.
Thanks to the efforts made by the Union and Tamil Nadu Governments, the Italian oil company, in which the four were employed, took the initiative and secured their release.
After the Tamil Nadu Government took up the matter, the Centre, through its Embassy, prevailed upon the Italian oil company and secured their release, sources here said.
Yesterday, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi said the Centre was taking all steps to secure the release of the four.
Of the four, three hailed from the Southern Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu and the other was from Maharashtra.