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7 RPG firm employees kidnapped in Baghlan

Seven Indians working for an RPG Enterprises company in Afghanistan were kidnapped from Baghlan province in the northeast of the war-torn country on Sunday morning.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 7.05.18
  •  

New Delhi: Seven Indians working for an RPG Enterprises company in Afghanistan were kidnapped from Baghlan province in the northeast of the war-torn country on Sunday morning.

The external affairs ministry confirmed the abduction and said India was in "contact with the Afghan authorities and further details are being ascertained". An Afghan official suggested the abduction was the result of mistaken identity. Baghlan is around 260km from Kabul.

Afghan officials said the seven Indians were working for the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, which operates power stations. They were employees of KEC International, a power transmission engineering, procurement and construction company that is part of the Mumbai-headquartered RPG Enterprises.

RPG Enterprises chairman Harsh Goenka tweeted an appeal to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and her ministry to "help rescue 7 of our managers from the kidnapping in Afghanistan".

"We are very concerned and the matter is being looked at by the MEA at the highest level. In the interest of safety of our people and the sensitive nature of the situation on ground, we will not be commenting any further. We want to assure everyone concerned that we are working with the authorities to ensure safe return of our employees," said Vimal Kejriwal, MD and CEO of KEC International.

Police told reporters in Kabul that the Indians and their Afghan driver were travelling to a government-run power station in a mini-bus when unknown gunmen abducted them.

Afghan television network TOLOnews quoted Baghlan governor Abdulhai Nemati as saying the Indians had been mistaken for government staff and abducted erroneously.

He said efforts were on through tribal elders to mediate with the kidnappers to secure their release. A senior Indian embassy official told Reuters that over 150 Indian engineers and technical experts were now working across Afghanistan on large infrastructure projects.