Indian hostages freed by Somali pirates share their joy

Manesh, Arjun, Mithun, Stanley and Bipin, among 17 Indians held hostage by Somalian pirates for more than a year, share their joy on returning home at Thiruvananthapuram international airport on Tuesday. —DC

Thiruvananthapuram: Amid emotional scenes, the five Malayalis held hostage for over a year by Somalian pirates returned here to a warm welcome on Tuesday afternoon. Parents, relatives and friends hugged them in a tearful reunion at the airport, as they exited a flight from Oman.

With mixed emotions, and smiles flashing briefly for the parents and for the media cameras, the five youths first expressed their thanks for the governmental efforts and referred in passing to the struggles they underwent through several months in exotic locale.

“We express our deepest gratitude to the Kerala government as well as the Centre for making our release possible,” said the five — Arjun of Thiruvananthapuram, Manesh Mohan of hadayamangalam, Mithun of Ottapalam, Dibin Davis of Pathanamthitta and Stanley Vincent of Iringalakuda. They were among the 17 Indians on board the oil vessel MV Royal Grace that was hijacked by Somalian pirates on March 2 last year and released on this March 7.

“We went through periods of physical and mental torture,” said Manesh, showing the bruises on his arms. “The pirates were armed with highly sophisticated weapons, our vessel had no security,” said Stanley during their interface with media personnel at the airport.

Source: DC


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