Family members of the two Indians, who were rescued after being held captive in Libya for over a year, have heaved a sigh of relief and expressed happiness after getting the news.
The two Indians – T Gopikrishna from Andhra Pradesh and C Balaram Kishan from Telangana, who were teaching at Libya’s Sirte University, were abducted by Islamic State militants in July last year.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted, “I am happy to inform that T Gopalakrishna (Gopikrishna) (AP) & C BalaramKishan (Telangana) who were captive in Libya since 29 July, 2015 have been rescued.”
“We were informed around midnight by the MEA, Libyan government officials and others that he (Balaram) has been rescued along with Gopikrishna. My husband also spoke to me this morning…It (conversation) was only a few seconds…he enquired about our children and me and other family members,” Balram’s wife Sridevi told PTI.
“Entire family is happy that he has been rescued and out of danger…I heard my husband’s voice after more than a year…It’s God’s grace,” Sridevi said.
Balaram’s family, which resides in Secunderabad and were anxiously waiting for the safe return of their loved one, said, “We were worried a lot and now are happy that he is safe and are waiting for his return to Hyderabad.”
“…now I am 100 per cent relieved. We are waiting for more updates on when he is likely to fly back to India and come to Hyderabad,” Sridevi added.
Gopikrishna’s kin too expressed joy over his release.
“It is almost 14 months since July last year that my family members had spoken to him (Gopikrishna) after he was taken captive in Libya. We were informed about his release from MEA officials besides also from Libyan officials and also through information given by his friend on social networking sites,” Gopikrishna’s brother Muralikrishna said who stays in Nacharam area here.
“He spoke to our parents (who stay in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh) over phone and told that he is safe…my parents in-turn informed me about the same,” he added.
Muralikrishna said both Balaram and Gopikrishna were rescued by military and they will be taken to Tripoli most likely by this evening and are likely to return to Hyderabad may be in another three to four days.
Gopikrishna worked as a faculty in computer education.