Abductors want company to leave Afghanistan

New Delhi, Nov 21 | Updated: Nov 22 2005, 05:41am hrs
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has directed that all efforts be made to ensure the safe return of an Indian national abducted by suspected Taliban rebels in Afghanistan. A high-level group was set up to monitor the developments.

Dr Singh, who has been briefed about the abduction of MR Kutty, a driver with the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), directed that all efforts be made in cooperation with the Afghan authorities.

Not only to seek the safe return of Kutty, but also to ensure the safety of all Indian nationals currently deployed in Afghanistan on various projects, external affairs ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna told mediapersons here.

He said in all about 290 Indians are engaged in various projects in Afghanistan and added that security for all Indians working on the highway project and other projects has been strengthened by the Afghan authorities.

According to him, cabinet secretary BK Chaturvedi has set up a group comprising officials from the ministries of home and external affairs and security agencies to monitor developments on a regular basis.

A man claiming to be a spokesman of the Taliban told an international news agency on Sunday that the Indian would be killed if his firm did not leave Afghanistan within 48 hours.