The Indian government has secured the release of five Indian nationals including an individual who died in captivity, who were abducted by the Arakan Army in Myanmar. The Indian nationals were taken into captivity by a Rakhine insurgent group called the Arakan Army in Myanmar while they were travelling there to work on a road project in the northern part of Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
Reportedly, the Indian nationals who are released are identified as Vijay Kumar Singh (48), Nangshanbok Suiam (47), Rakesh Sharma (64) and Ajay Kothiyal (50).
Govt of India: However, one of the Indian nationals died in custody of Arakan Army due to heart attack. The released Indian nationals, along with the body of the deceased, have reached Sittwe (Myanmar) and will be leaving for Yangon ( Myanmar) today for onward journey to India https://t.co/gWnZPQxsfx
— ANI (@ANI) November 5, 2019
On November 3, five Indian nationals, along with a Myanmar MP, two local transporters and one speedboat operators were abducted by insurgent group Arakan Army on way from Paletwa to Kyauktaw in Rakhine province of Myanmar.
During the abduction, a 60-year-old Indian national had died in the custody of Arakan Army, ethnic rebels in Myanmar. According to reports, the Indian national who died has been identified as Vinoo Gopal, who was working as a construction advisor.
The released Indian nationals, along with the body of the deceased, have reached Sittwe in Myanmar and will be leaving for Yangon in Myanmar on Tuesday for onward journey to India.
Reportedly, the Indian Embassy in Myanmar was monitoring the situation and is expected to extend all necessary assistance to the Indian nationals and also arrange for repatriation of Gopal’s body.
However, a member of the rebel outfit said that Indians were “not kidnapped”. “Our forces found five Indians and two translators when they stopped two speed boats for normal checking for security in Kaladan river. We have nothing to do with Indians. So we planned to release them since yesterday evening,” said a member of the Arakan Army.
A statement by the Arakan Army released on Monday claimed that the group of Indian nationals was taken to land from the boats for investigations at around 10 am on Sunday and eight people and a dead body was released at 5.45 am on Monday.
The Arakan Army in its statement said it was not against development projects which benefit the locals but those travelling in violence-hit Rakhine should inform the outfit.