With Nigerian President's India Visit, a Mother Hopes for Her Son's Release

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The 11 Indian engineers were arrested when their ship accidentally strayed into Nigerian waters.


Hyderabad:  With Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari set to arrive in India this week for the India-Africa summit, families of 11 Indian engineers who were arrested in Nigeria 16 months ago are appealing to the Central government to take up their cause with the African leader.  

The 11 engineers were on a commercial ship, owned by a Mumbai-based company, carrying scrap from Ghana to Cameroon when they accidentally entered Nigerian waters and was taken into custody along with 10 other Indians.

46-year-old Vanaja from Hyderabad says for the last 16 months, every single day, she has waited for and prayed for her 26-year-old son Manoj to return home.

"I appeal to you as a mother... Sushma Swaraj ji. I haven't seen my son for the last two years. Please help. Who can we go to for help?" Vanaja appealed to Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj.

Manoj's cousin Sharan Kumar says the mechanical engineer got caught in a bad situation. "We have appealed to everyone. No one has helped," he added.

All 11 families had sat on a dharna at Delhi's Jantar Mantar in August after which they met the External Affairs minister on August 18th. Ms Swaraj had assured the families that all the arrested men would return home at the earliest.

The family is hoping the external affairs minister will take this up with Nigerian president when he arrives this week for the India-African summit.


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