Family of kidnapped techie in Sudan ready to pay ransom

The family members of a 32-year-old techie Irfan Jaffrey, who was kidnapped 3 months back by gunmen at Darfur in Sudan, today said they are feeling abandoned in this crisis and are ready to pay ransom demanded by the abductors.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 12, 2014, 18:22 PM IST

Mumbai: The family members of a 32-year-old techie Irfan Jaffrey, who was kidnapped three months back by gunmen at Darfur in Sudan, today said they are feeling abandoned in this crisis and are ready to pay ransom demanded by the abductors.

"We are ready to pay the ransom demanded by the kidnappers. For me, my husband is everything. The no-ransom policies of the United Nations and Indian government are killing us...My husband is in deep trouble. We are feeling abandoned in this crisis. Why there is no one to help us?" a tearful Nafisa Jaffrey (30), wife of Irfan, said.

"I beg External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to feel our pain and anguish and help me get back my husband," pleaded Nafisa in a choked voice, holding her 7-year-old son`s hand.

Nafisa stays in Dombivali in neighbouring Thane district. Her husband Irfan, employed as IT engineer by Trigyn Technologies Ltd since past five years, used to visit home twice in a year.

The multi-national IT firm provides services of information and communications technology-related work at United Nations missions across the globe, so the UN is involved in negotiations with the abductors.

The UN has a policy of not paying ransom. On March 11, a group of five armed gunmen allegedly abducted Irfan from outside a Turkish restaurant. Since then he has been kept hostage in a tribal area of Darfur.

Recalling the incident, Irfan`s uncle Shakeel Ahmed said, "We had received a phone call on March 12 afternoon from the IT company stating that Irfan was kidnapped, the news which shattered our entire family."

"The company knew that the abductors want money but we were told about the ransom demand only on March 27. We then began arranging money. Now we are ready with the full cash," Ahmed said.

"However, we were told that the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is handling the case and their policy is not to pay ransom. I do not understand that why we should suffer because of some institution`s policies. The Indian government is also not pressurising the UNAMID to take money and ensure release of its citizen," Ahmed alleged.

The Darfur police are very ineffective, he alleged, claiming that, "We spoke to Irfan on a number of occasions over phone. The abductors have called us from the same phone number. Can the police not track the abductors, using the phone network?"
In April, the IT company advised them not to contact Irfan. They were following the advice of a UN team, which claimed hostages were usually released when families lost contact with them, Ahmed said. "But what is the result now," he asked.
The family is miffed at the Central and UNAMID policies, he said adding that, "I have been in touch with the MEA, the Indian envoy in Sudan and with Trigyn."