Released from the captivity of abductors in war-torn Libya, Pravas Ranjan Samal on Friday said the militants did not torture him though he was traumatised at every passing moment.
“Suspecting the abductors as members of the Islamic State, we were traumatised. Every moment was a moment of uncertainty,” said Samal, who reached Bhubaneshwar accompanied by officers of the ministry of external affairs and Intelligence Bureau.
“Now I am okay. But, when they abducted us, a lot of negative thoughts were going on back of my mind. I had heard a lot about cruelty by IS outfit. Still then, I had not stopped hope,” said Samal, who was working as a biomedical engineer in a hospital in Sirte in Libya since 2002.
“Since 2011, we were sensing difficulties in every passing day. But as health workers, we considered ourselves as social workers. We did not expect that the health workers would be target for any terror groups. But one night, some groups came and raided our quarters and asked us to follow them,” he said.
Samal, a resident of Kendrapara district, was among the two Indians abducted by the terror outfit. “We were blindfolded and taken to some undisclosed locations. With me, there was another Indian. We were held captive for about 10 days. I don’t know about the other people who were held captive,” Samal said.
On the 10th day, Samal was, however, released with the help of some influential locals. “From there, I reached Tripoli and the Indian embassy. The embassy officials made all arrangements to feel me at home and sent me back to Delhi,” he said.
While claiming that he felt proud to be an Indian, Samal pointed out that he was given all possible facilities by the officials of the embassy. “I express my profound gratitude to the Government of India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj for their relentless efforts for my safe release,” he said.
“Can any one imagine that the great person like Ajit Doval would stand up and hug me like a family member? I have seen happiness on his face over release of an Indian. This is India and its affection towards fellow country men,” an emotional Samal said.
Describing his release as a “miracle”, Samal thanked the Almighty and did not forget to thank the people of Libya who were equally concerned over his abduction by terror group.
Image: Pravas Ranjan Samal worked as a biomedical engineer in a hospital in Sirte, Libya.