Ten days after the attack on the Indian Consulate, an Indian national working for an aid organisation in Afghanistan’s Herat province was abducted on Monday.
While Indian government sources confirmed the abduction, initial details were sketchy. The Afghan authorities have confirmed to the Indian embassy that “unidentified gunmen” kidnapped the Indian national.
Herat Governor’s spokesman, Ehsanullah Hayat, was quoted by Pajhwok News as stating that the Indian man was working for a foreign organisation and went missing from Zenda Jan district of the province. Zenda Jan is located 35 kilometres to the south of Herat city.
Afghan news agency, Khaama News, quoted a local security official as saying that the incident took place on Monday afternoon while the aid worker was “visiting the area to assess the work of a project”.
Nobody has claimed responsibility for the abduction so far, said officials.
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This is the first such case since November 2005, when Ramankutty Maniyappan, a 36-year-old driver working with the BRO on the Zaranj-Delaram highway project, was taken hostage and beheaded. In 2003, two engineers working on a road project were abducted, but later released.
During her visit to Herat on Friday, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh had met Governor Sayed Fazullah Wahedi, who had assured security to the Indian Consulate and officials working in the province.
The Afghan government had also proposed a few “secure locations” where the Indian Consulate in Herat could shift.