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« on: May 07, 2006, 06:45:21 AM »

Taliban kill Indian engineer: Reports

Tejeswi Pratima, Uma Sudhir
Sunday, April 30, 2006 (New Delhi):

Taliban militants are believed to have killed K Suryanarayan, the Indian engineer who was kidnapped in Afghanistan on Friday.A body found in Kandahar is suspected to be that of Suryanarayan.The Ministry of External Affairs, however, is yet to confirm whether the body is that of the engineer.
The militants had earlier issued a deadline for all Indians in Afghanistan to leave the country by 6 pm (local time) today, failing which they would execute the engineer.
The Taliban had claimed that Suryanarayan was an American spy.
Anxious family
The reports come even as Suryanarayan's family met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, urging him to pressurise the Centre for trying to secure the engineer's safe release.
On Saturday, Suryanarayan's wife Manjula had said she sees no point of her and her three children living if the Taliban carried out their threat.
The Indian government too had stepped up efforts to try and secure the hostage's safe release.
The Ministry of External Affairs sent a three-member team to Kabul to assist in any negotiations, and Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran had said the Indian government is in touch with the Afghan authorities.
The Cabinet Secretary also met senior officials to review the situation and discuss security measures for Indian workers in Afghanistan.
Safety issues
Suryanarayan's case has raised doubts over the safety of the nearly 1,300 Indians working in Afghanistan.
One of Suryanarayan' friends, who works with him in Afghanistan for the Bahrain-based Al-Moayed company, told NDTV the employees are provided with upto 12 security personnel when they travel to difficult areas like Zabul.
The employees are also instructed to stop work by 4 pm (local time) and return to their living quarters not later than 6 pm.
"We have developed a series of measure and guidelines for the safety of the Indians. We have stipulations for the movement of citizens and employees in Afghanistan," said B B Bhaskar, Regional Passport Officer, Hyderabad.
It is not yet clear why Suryanarayan was out after that time and apparently had no security with him at the time of the abduction.

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