Seven Indian engineers of an RPG group company working in Afghanistan’s northern Baghlan province were abducted today by Taliban gunmen who apparently mistook them for government employees, media reports said.
The External Affairs Ministry said in New Delhi it is in touch with authorities in Afghanistan and is ascertaining the details of the incident.
Responding to media queries, Raveesh Kumar, MEA spokesperson, said, “We are aware of the abduction of Indian nationals from Baghlan province in Afghanistan. We are in contact with the Afghan authorities and further details are being ascertained.”
The Taliban militants abducted the Indians, working for Maharashtra-based company KEC, and their Afghan driver early this morning in Bagh-e-Shamal area of the provincial capital Pul-e-Khomre, TOLOnews reported, citing officials.
According to the Associated Press, the seven Indian nationals were electrical engineers.
The company employees were abducted while they were travelling to the area where KEC has a contract to operate an electricity sub-station, the Afghan news channel reported.
Baghlan Governor Abdulhai Nemati said the Taliban group took the engineers hostage and moved them to the Dand-e-Shahabuddin area of Pul-e-Khumri city, according to the report.
It quoted Nemati as saying that the Afghan authorities spoke with the Taliban via local people and the terror group said it had abducted them, believing they were government employees.
No group has, however, claimed responsibility for the abduction. Nemati said they are trying to get the abductees released through tribe elders and mediation.
Harsh Goenka, the chairman of the RPG Enterprises, the parent company of KEC, said he has requested External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in a tweet to help rescue its employees.
— Harsh Goenka (@hvgoenka) May 6, 2018