Suralpady (Karnataka), May 29: Sarang Mohammad Naeem, an Indian who was kidnapped in Afghanistan, returned to his hometown Suralpady in Mangalore. Naeem was among the two kidnapped road workers from India and Nepal freed by Afghan security forces in a raid on May 18.
The duo, employees of a road project, was seized from a vehicle while traveling on a highway on April 21 in the western province of Herat, which borders Iran. Naeem, who was 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 on April 21. Narrating the incident, the 37-year-old Naeem said that they were returning to their camp in Adraskan when four abductors surrounded their vehicle. They tied their hands and blindfolded them.
"They used to keep us chained, our hands and feet were tied always. We used to sleep on stones only. There used to be no water and nothing. In the first three days, we did not get food as well. At that time we used to eat wild fruits and we ate grass as well. Few people surrounded us and started firing from all sides. We saw death very close to us that day," said Naeem.
Naeem remained captive for 27 days, walking on mountain ranges without proper food, shelter and water. "I cannot explain how happy I am. I could not believe that I would breathe freely one day. It's something which I did not imagine in those 27 days," he said.
According to reports, Naeem and his Nepalese colleague were rescued from a cave in Herat's Shindand district where the Taliban and criminal gangs are active. Naeem's abduction has further raised concerns about the safety of Indians in Afghanistan.
On April 12, a suicide bomber targeted a road construction crew killing two Indian workers.