Sydney siege: An Indian IT professional working with Infosys among hostages inside cafe

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New Delhi, Dec 15: An Indian IT professional Vishwakanth Reddy who works with Infosys in Hyderabad is also among the hostages in Sydney cafe, confirmed Infosys.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu also told reporters outside Parliament today that there may be one Indian IT professional among the hostages in Sydney. He later also said that the reports were unconfirmed.

Indian techie among Sydney hostages

"We don't want to discuss it because there is some information that one of our IT persons is also there. So the External Affairs Ministry is keeping in touch with concerned people there-- both our embassy as well as our counterpart also," Naidu told reporters outside Parliament House.

One of the Indian hostages being held captive in Sydney works with the Infosys in Hyderabad. Vishwakanth Reddy works with the Infosys in Hyderabad is also among the hostages in Sydney. Infosys too confirms that one of their employees is being held hostage.

Later, Naidu added that there were no confirmed reports and it was only preliminary information. "There is some initial information that some people were taken hostage in Sydney by some person. What is the purpose, what is the motive, (it is) not known and our External Affairs Ministry is keeping in touch with our embassy there in Australia.

"So far information says that people who were held hostages are safe, no harm is done to them. All these information here and there-- nothing has been confirmed about any citizens of our country is in that or not. It is a sensitive matter. I request all people to show restraint till the issue is resolved," he said.

The Minister also said whatever steps need to be taken are being taken. 

The Indian consulate in Sydney was evacuated in view of the hostage situation in a cafe near its premises and all the staff members are safe, the external affairs ministry on Monday said.

"As a preventive measure in accordance with the local requirements, we have evacuated the staff from the Sydney Consulate building because it is located about 300-400 metres away from where this incident took place," ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said in the national capital.

An armed man on Monday took undisclosed number of people hostage at a Cafe in Martin Place in the heart of Sydney's business district.

The Indian Consulate in Sydney was also evacuated in view of the hostage situation and all the staff members are safe, the External Affairs Ministry said.

"As a preventive measure in accordance with the local requirements, we have evacuated the staff from the Sydney Consulate building because it is located about 300-400 metres away from where this incident took place," Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said here.

"Our Consulate is in touch with local authorities. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has spoken to the High Commissioner who is in touch with local organisations," Akbaruddin said.

"Such incidents are always difficult to handle but we have standard procedures which are in place in such matters. We have also set up a helpline and the Deputy Counsel General is available on +61481453550.

"In case anybody would like to know any information we will be providing that information. At this stage, all we can do is to keep in touch with local authorities and provide information as and when that is provided to us," the spokesperson said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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