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Let our sons free: Antaryami's father
Onkar Singh in New Delhi |
July 24, 2004 16:59 IST
Last Updated: July 24, 2004 22:11 IST
Fifty-eight-year-old Ram Murti is willing to knock on any door, meet any number of people. All he wants is his son, Antaryami, back with the family in their village is Una district of Himachal Pradesh.
Antaryami is one of the nine truck drivers taken hostage by a rebel group in Iraq. One of the other two Indian drivers abducted -- Tilak Raj -- is also from Una.
"I am not here to plead only my son's case. I represent Tilak Raj, who is my neighbour in Una in Himachal Pradesh, and also Sukhdev Singh, who is from Ropar in Punjab," Ram Murti told rediff.com.
Ram Murti met External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh in the afternoon and was scheduled to call on President A P J Abdul Kalam later in the day.
Ram Murti retired on March 31, 2004 as an inspector in the Punjab Roadways Service. "I came to know that my son, Antaryami, had been taken hostage by some militants in Iraq through television a couple of days back. Since then there is a deathly silence in my house. Two of my relatives have died of shock. I last spoke to him on phone on July 20 when he told us that he was fit and fine and would call again next week," Ram Murti recalled, his eyes welling up in tears.
Antaryami has been driving trucks for fifteen years now. "He was doing well for himself. Suddenly, one day he told us he planned to go to Kuwait. He applied for a job through Soni Placement Services in Ropar district in Punjab. He left the village on November 22 last year for Delhi. From there he went to Mumbai and then took a flight for Kuwait where he got a job for a company called KGL. We paid the agent Rs 65,000 for the entire deal," he said.
Antaryami, 33, used to call home once a week and send money regularly.
Relatives of Tilak Raj could not come to Delhi. "He is a resident of Dharmpur Harsoli. He is married and has two daughters and a six-year-old son. I am appealing for him as well...let our sons free," Ram Murti said.
Ram Murti is angry that nobody from the Himachal Pradesh government has bothered to get in touch with the family. "No help from anyone so far. We have travelled to Delhi on our own," he added.