Jesuit Refugee Service Country Director of Afghanistan abducted from Herat
| Wednesday, 06.04.2014, 06:30 AM |   (1113 views)

An Indian aid worker was Monday abducted from Herat in Afghanistan by unidentified gunmen, days after the Indian consulate in the province was attacked.

The Indian, hailing from from Tamil Nadu, was working with an educational charity in Afghanistan and was abducted in the afternoon, according to top official sources.

Confirming the abduction, a spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi said, "An Indian national working with an NGO in Herat province of Afghanistan has been kidnapped. Our mission is pursuing the matter with local authorities."

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with the Foreign Secretary.

The meeting assumes significance in the backdrop of the abduction of the Indian national for which no group has claimed responsibility so far.

Meanwhile, the Jesuit Conference South Asia said the kidnapped person was the JRS country director of Afghanistan from October 2012 and had been in that country for the past three years.

His responsbility was to oversee projects undertaken at Kabul, Herat and Bamiyan, it said.

"Yes. He hails from Tamil Nadu," one of the directors of Jesuit Conference of South Asia, Fr. Edward S Mudavassery told PTI over phone from New Delhi.

He said the 47-year-old man had earlier served as JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) Tamil Nadu Country Director and was later appointed as JRS Country Director of Afghanisan from October 2012.

The abduction comes over a week after the attack on the Indian consulate in Herat by four heavily-armed gunmen carrying rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.

The attackers were subsequently killed by the security forces who repelled the attack on May 23.

On May 29, the Indian mission in Herat had issued an advisory asking its nationals to exercise extreme caution while venturing out.

Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh flew to Herat on Friday and reviewed the situation following the attack on the Indian consulate in the western Afghan city, bordering Iran.

She held meetings in the Afghan capital on Saturday with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani - the two presidential candidates - who asserted that friendship with India would remain a "top priority" for any new government here.

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