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Freed by pirates after 56 days,Kaushambi resident heads home

After 56 days of tension and prayers,the family members of Kaushambi resident Waseemuddin finally heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday evening,when they learnt that Somali pirates have released him.

Written by Manish Sahu | Lucknow | January 24, 2009 1:39:39 am

After 56 days of tension and prayers,the family members of Kaushambi resident Waseemuddin finally heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday evening,when they learnt that Somali pirates have released him.

Pirates had hijacked MT Biscaglia from the Gulf of Eden on November 29,six days after it had left the Singapore shores and was on its way to Europe. The ship was carrying 28 crew members of which 25 were Indians.

“Last evening,my brother called up from a satellite phone and said they had been freed. He is safe and fine,” said Saifuddin,brother of Waseemuddin.

President and CEO of Industrial Shipping Enterprises Corporation James Christodoulou confirmed that all crew members have been released unharmed. It is,however,not known if the pirates were paid any ransom.

The Industrial Shipping Enterprises Corporation,which owns the ship said the ship was headed for a safe port. On arrival there,the crew members will be heading home for reunion with their families,read the corporation statement.

Saifuddin said they got to know about the hijacking when his brother called home a few days after the incident.

“It seemed that he had been threatened. The pirates had asked the crew members to tell their families to mount pressure on the company to make effort to get them freed safely. After that,I remained in touch with the shipping company,” said Saifuddin,a resident of Bagelapur village.

On January 6,the families of the crew were called to Mumbai where top officials of the company told them that negotiations with the pirates were on and the crew would be released soon.

“Yesterday,in the afternoon,we received a call from the company that the ship had been released by the pirates”,said a family member.

Twentyeight-year-old Waseemuddin had joined merchant navy around three years ago and worked as a wiper. He had undertaken two journeys,each lasting nine months. In October,he had returned to his village home for his wedding.

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