Marine engineer rescued from Nigerian pirates, comes back home

It was the happiest moment for Santosh Bharadwaj, a marine engineer in captivity of Nigerian pirates for one-and-a-half months, when he returned home and met family members on Wednesday night.

The family is thankful to the central government particularly the minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj, and the employer for his safe release from the custody of pirates. In a tweet on Wednesday Swaraj said, "I am extremely happy to inform that Shri Santosh Bharadwaj has been rescued from pirates in Nigeria".

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Santosh employed in a Singapore based shipping company as third engineer on ship (SAMPATIKI IMO No 9405772) was reportedly kidnapped by pirates when the ship was around 30 nautical miles off Nigerian port on March 26.

He said that the pirates kidnapped him and four others for ransom. It was the effort of the central government and the company that resulted in safe return of all five persons, he said. "We are thankful to Sushma Swaraj for her serious efforts to get me released and consoling family members," he said adding that no harm was done to him by the pirates.

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An alumnus of the Institute of Engineering and Rural Technology (IERT), Allahabad, Santosh had joined the shipping company in January this year. His family members including wife Kanchan, daughter Charu, father Virendra Thakur and mother Nirmala Thakur live at Rajtilak Nagar Colony in Manduadih area.

"It was a trauma for us when we came to know that Santosh was in the custody of Nigerian pirates, but soon we got support of the government and shipping company for his rescue," said his father, a retired employee of Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW).

Source: Manila Time