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Abducted engineer killed by Taliban

Special Correspondent

"It is obvious abductors did not want to negotiate"


  • Suryanarayana was killed before Indian team reached Kabul
  • Government views the Taliban as a terrorist organisation
  • Measures to increase security for Indians in Afghanistan

    — PHOTO: K. Ramesh Babu

    CONSOLATION: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy consoling the family members of K. Suryanarayana at their residence in Hyderabad on Sunday.

    NEW DELHI: Indian telecom engineer K. Suryanarayana, who was kidnapped by the Taliban in Afghanistan two days ago, has been killed by his abductors. His body was found between Qalat and Ghazni in the southern part of the country on Sunday morning.

    Describing the killing as "premeditated," India on Sunday said Mr. Suryanarayana was murdered even before a team led by an External Affairs Ministry official reached Kabul.

    Confirming the news, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said at a press conference here that Mr. Suryanarayana's body was found between Qalat and Ghazni on Sunday morning. "It is obvious that the kidnappers were not interested in negotiating for his release but had premeditated his killing. The outrageous demand that all Indians should leave Afghanistan within 24 hours testifies to the real motivation behind this act of terror," he said.

    An agency report quoted a Taliban spokesman as saying Mr. Suryanarayana was shot dead as he tried to escape. ``The Indian engineer was in a room with one guard, he attacked the guard and punched him, went out of the building running as other mujahedeen shot him dead,'' he said

    "Dastardly and inhuman"

    Mr. Saran said India was appalled by "this dastardly and inhuman act of terror" on the part of the Taliban and its sponsors. The slain engineer, who was working for a Bahrain company Al Moayed, had, like many of his compatriots, been making a contribution to Afghanistan's reconstruction.

    Stating that the Government regarded the Taliban as a terrorist organisation, Mr. Saran called upon the international community to recognise its true colours and join hands to defeat it.

    Extending condolences to the bereaved family, he assured them that every effort was being made to bring the perpetrators to justice.

    Team put in place

    Mr. Saran said that soon after the abduction a crisis management team was convened to monitor the developments and work out measures to deal with it. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had followed the developments.

    A team led by a senior MEA official that included experts in handling hostage situations was promptly despatched to Afghanistan, to assist the Indian Embassy."We had been in constant communication with the Afghan authorities, with the international security forces deployed in the Zabul area and with our network of contacts in the country, to make every effort possible to bring this unfortunate incident to a satisfactory conclusion. However, Suryanarayana was brutally murdered even before the MEA team landed in Kabul on Sunday morning," he said.

    He said India would never bow to such acts of terrorism and would continue providing assistance to the people of Afghanistan in their endeavour to bring peace, stability and economic recovery.

    The measures to increase security for Indian nationals working on Indian Government-aided projects in Afghanistan would be reviewed and strengthened, Mr. Saran said.

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