Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava
New Delhi: In a pleasant development, an Information Technology engineer Irfan Jaffrey, who was being held hostage by a group of armed men in Sudan`s Darfur for past three months, has been freed, it was reported on Friday.
The 32-year-old IT engineer is said to be in the safe custody of the Sudan government and is in good health. He is expected to return home soon in a chartered plane being arranged by the Sudanese government.
An employee of a multinational firm, Jaffrey was posted in the North African country more than four years ago. He was robbed, beaten and abducted on March 11 outside a restaurant where he’d gone for dinner with a colleague. His abductors later demanded a ransom of Rs 32 lakh.
During his captivity, Irfan was allegedly tortured by his abductors.
Since Jaffrey’s employer - Trigyn Technologies Ltd - does information and communications technology-related work at UN missions across the world, the world body was also involved in negotiations with the abductors. Irfan`s safe release initially looked uncertain in view of the UN`s policy of not paying ransom.
“A day after the kidnapping, Trigyn reportedly got a call from the abductors demanding Rs 32 lakh. We were told the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) is handling the case and their policy was not to pay ransom. We were willing to pay but were told to wait,” Shakil Ahmed, 45, Jaffrey’s uncle had earlier told reporters.
However, he said that the MEA, the Indian envoy in Sudan and Trigyn were handling Irfan`s case and trying for his early release.
The abductors allowed Jaffrey to call his family four to five times. Irfan`s family members, his wife Nafisa, 30, who lives with her seven-year-old son in Dombivli, are now ecstatic and preparing to welcome his home coming after three months.