Indian engineer returns home after 27-day ordeal

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Mangalore, May 28 (UNI) Indian engineer Naeem Sarang, who went through a 27-day ordeal after being abducted by a criminal gang in Afghanistan, returned to his home at Gurukambala, near here, today.

Naeem, working for a Dubai-Canadian company in a road construction project in remote Adraskan on the Afghanistan-Iran border, was abducted along with a Nepalese colleague when he was returning from a market on April 21.

Talking to newspersons at his residence, he said after being abducted, he and his colleague were blindfolded and dumped in the boot of a car and taken to a wooded place. They were not offered any food but only some black tea. Sometimes, they had to survive on by eating grass and wild berries.

They were rescued by Afghan police who overpowered the abductors on May 18, he said.

Thirty-nine-year-old Naeem, an electrical engineer by profession, said the abductors had told the duo, ''we don't know how, but we are releasing you. But get out of our country and never return.'' ''We were very lucky to survive as many such abductions in Afghanistan ended up in those kidnapped being killed,'' he said.

After the release, Naeem came to Kabul and contacted the Indian High Commission which shifted the engineer to Delhi. From there he was taken to Mumbai where his family was waiting for him and then all of them travelled in a car and returned home today.

A festive atmosphere prevailed in Gurukambala village where people came home and hugged Naeem and his father, while the engineer's mother Rafat Sultana and her other sons distributed sweets and received visitors.

UNI MA RS VV SP RN1530

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