Raipur engineer, wife among 18 Indians kidnapped by Nigerian pirates
RAIPUR : A city engineer and his wife are among the 18 Indians who have been kidnapped by pirates near the western coast of Nigeria earlier this week. Vijay Tiwari, who is an engineer with Merchant Navy, and his wife Anju were kidnapped by pirates when they were onboard a Hong Kong-flagged vessel on December 3, his family said.
“Vijay`s company informed us that he had been kidnapped. They said they were trying to rescue them but then nothing happened. After that, we contacted the media and the district magistrate,” SP Udhadhyay, a family member said.
Speaking to News Agency ANI, Addl,SP Praful Thakur said that Tiwari was employed with a shipping company in Nigeria, and added that the administration was working for his early rescue.”We are taking this matter very seriously. Higher authorities are ensuring assistance to the family. The SSP has spoken to the family members. We will provide them with every possible support,” Thakur said.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhaghel also spoke to Vijay`s younger brother over the phone and assured him of all possible help from the state government.”I told him that state officials were in regular touch with officers of the External Affairs Ministry for an early rescue,” Baghel said.
Responding to reports of the kidnapping on Friday, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the ministry is working closely with the Nigerian authorities in this regard.
“On December 3, 18 Indian national crew members were abducted from the ship `Nave Constellation` at high seas near Nigeria. We are working closely with the Nigerian authorities,” the MEA spokesperson said.
The pirates managed to board the vessel and kidnap 19 crew members before escaping. The 19 seafarers comprised 18 Indian nationals and one Turkish national. The vessel is now said to be safe and under the escort of the Nigerian Navy. The whereabouts and details of crew members are yet to be ascertained.
Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday said every possible effort will be made to secure safe release of a Raipur-based couple, who is among the 19 people kidnapped by pirates from a vessel near the Nigerian coast.
Talking to reporters here, Baghel said the state officials were in regular touch with the Centre and the Ministry of External Affairs.
“Best possible efforts will be made to rescue to the couple,” he said.
Chief Mechanical Engineer of the ship Vijay Tiwari and
his wife Anju Tiwari, residents of Bhanpuri area in the
capital Raipur, were among the 19 people, including 18 Indian,
kidnapped by pirates from the vessel near the Nigerian coast
early this week, an official statement issued here said.
Meanwhile, Raipur district Collector Dr S Bhartidasan and Superintendent of Police Arif Sheikh visited the residences of Tiwari and his in-laws in Raipur and his relatives, the release said.
The collector told the family members that the state
government was with them in this time of trouble and ready to
extend whatever support they needed, it added.
The relatives told the two officials that they came to
know about the incident after getting a call from Mumbai-based
firm, Anglo Eastern Ship Management Company, to which the
vessel belongs, the release said.