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Telugu teachers rescued from IS captivity in Libya return home


Hyderabad: Two Telugu teachers, who were rescued last week after over a year-long captivity by Islamic State (IS) terrorists in Libya, returned home on Saturday.

T. Gopikrishna and C. Balram Kishan reached here from New Delhi in the early hours.

They merely said they were happy to reunite with their families, but declined to answer any queries from the media or share their experiences in captivity.

The two teachers of the University of Sirte were abducted by IS terrorists on July 29, 2015 while on their way to Tripoli airport to return to India.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had announced on September 15 that they had been rescued.

Gopikrishna (35), an Assistant Professor at the University of Sirte, belongs to Tekkali in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, while Balram Kishan (52), a Professor at the same university, hails from Telangana’s Karimnagar district.

“I am very happy to reunite with my family. I don’t have any words to express my happiness,” said Gopikrishna talking to media persons at his residence in Nacharam here.

He thanked the Libyan Army and the Government of India, especially the Ministry of External Affairs. “Thanks to their efforts, I could safely come back and reunite with my family,” said Gopikrishna flanked by his wife and daughter.

“I am really excited to return home after long captivity. I have already given all information to the Ministry of External Affairs as to what happened during my 414-day captivity,” he said.

Gopikrishna declined to speak on how they were freed and how they were treated in captivity.

“I can’t reveal all those details to you. I have given the information to the ministry,” he said.

The two teachers had reached New Delhi on Friday, after which officials of the Ministry of External Affairs met and debriefed them.

Balram taught English and Gopikrishna Computer Science at Sirte University. They were among the four Indians kidnapped by IS the same day. Two of them were released a few days later.

Lakshmikant and Vijay Kumar, hailing from Karnataka, had returned safely following their release earlier.

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