Indian escapes Abu Sayyaf captors

Biju Kolara Veettil, 36, of Moodady, near Koyilandy, Kerala, kidnapped by the militant Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines last year, escaped from his captors on Friday.
According to information received by his relatives on Friday, he escaped before dawn, when his captors were preparing breakfast. “We have received two telephone calls from Biju this afternoon,” his brother Shybu told this newspaper on Friday. Biju also spoke to the offices of Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy and Union minister of state for home Mullappally Ramacha-ndran over the phone.
The ministry of external affairs said Friday that Biju is now with the police in Sulu province of the Philippines. It said Indian officials are in touch with him and the local authorities to facilitate his early return to India.
The group, with alleged links to Al Qaeda, kidnapped him from his Filipina wife’s home at Tempark in Sulu, Philippines, on June 14 last year for a ransom of `50 lakh.
“A villager helped him reach a nearby police station. He was then taken to a hospital,” Shybu said, adding, “He is now in the custody of the Sulu provincial police office and undergoing a medical checkup. His wife Eleena and their two children, Arjun, 8, and Ajay, 5, were also with him at the police headquarters.”
“Biju told us he would meet the Sulu governor on Friday or Saturday. After completion of the required legal procedures he is expected to be handed over to the Indian embassy,” Shybu added.
Biju, operations manager with Bronze Al Tawoos in Kuwait, who was kidnapped at gunpoint, was held captive in the southern Philippines for nearly 14 months. He is the son of K. Narayanan, who retired as a subedar in the Indian Army, and Nalini. The family had submitted petitions to the CM here and the minister for overseas affairs for his release.

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