HYDERABAD: Two city professors who were abducted by suspected terrorists of Islamic State in Libya more than a year ago have been rescued. Officials of
external affairs ministry broke this news on Thursday morning to the families of the two professors, who hail from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The duo taught in a
university in war-torn Sirte in Libya while their families stayed in Hyderabad.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, too, announced the news of their release by tweeting: “I am happy to inform that T Gopalakrishna (AP) & C Balaramkishan
(Telangana) who were captive in Libya since 29 July 2015 have been rescued.”
Balaram (52) and Gopalakrishna (35) were abducted along with two other colleagues from Sirte University when they were on their way to Tripoli to board a flight to
India. The other colleagues, Laxmikant and Vijay Kumar, from Karnataka, were subsequently released by gun-wielding abductors. Balaram taught English and
Gopalakrishna computer science at the university.
The excitement in the voice of Gopalakrishna’s wife Kalyani was hard to miss when she spoke to TOI. She recounted the harrowing times that had befal len the
household post her husband’s abduction and said it had become extremely difficult for her to provide for her two school-going children.
“I was struggling to make ends meet with my mother’s meagre pension. The situation was so bad that my children Sai Ishwar (5) and Jhanvi (11) were on the verge of
being thrown out of school for not being able to pay the fee.But now that my husband has been rescued, we can’t wait to see him,” she said.
Gopalakrishna’s elder brother T Murali Krishna, said: “It has been a year and two months since Gopi’s abduction. We are overjoyed by the news of his release.” The
excitement in his voice was hard to miss. That’s also because the family has been going through financially turbulent times over the last many months. A similar air of
excitement filled the two-bedroom home of Balaram, about 15 km away from Gopi’s. Immersed in prayers, specially organised for the well-being of her husband,
Sridevi was taken over by a flurry of emotions when informed about the professors’ rescue. She said Balram spoke to her for about five seconds in the morning.
“The entire family is extremely happy. Though I am yet to break the news to my elder son (who studies in IIT Kharagpur) as he is currently appearing for his exams, I
have told the younger one who is in eighth standard. Since then, he has be en running around the neighbourhood giving everyone the good news,” said Sridevi, only
too glad about her prayers being answered finally. The families are now waiting with bated breath for their kin to return to their homes in Hyderabad at the earliest.
Sirte, the birthplace of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, fell into the hands of the IS in May this year. The Indian government, which still has a mission in
Tripoli, had in July 2014 advised its citizens in Libya to leave the war-torn nation. However, family members of the two professors said several Indian nationals still
continue to be employed with the university .