Kolkata: West Bengal Pradesh Congress President Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Sunday urged the Centre to put pressure on the Afghanistan government for securing the release of an Indian woman aid worker abducted by unidentified gunmen in the Afghan capital.
“We have friendly relations with Afghanistan. The central government should be more proactive to secure the release of Judith and should put pressure on the Afghan government. I have sent a letter to the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and National Security Adviser (Ajit Doval),” Adhir said.
Judith D’Souza, 40, working with Aga Khan Foundation, an NGO, was kidnapped on Thursday night while she was returning home after a dinner at a friend’s place in the Qala-e-Fatullah area of Kabul.
A Communitst Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) delegation led by its General Secretary Sitaram Yechury met members of D’Souza’s family here during the day.
“Our mission in Kabul, the government and the organisation with whom she works are apparently in touch with the family. Everybody is making all their efforts. We have met members of her family and expressed our solidarity,” said Yechury, who is also the member of the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of External Affairs.
“We conveyed (to them) anything that they require in terms of putting pressure on the government and eliciting information from our mission, as a member of the consultative committee, I will be available to do that.”
D’Souza’s family members, however, lauded the efforts of the government.
“Both the Indian Embassy in Kabul and MEA are updating us twice a day and they updated us on the process of release that is taking place. Likewise, the organisation is also updating us,” said Judith’s brother Jerome D’Souza.
“Some of the efforts are shared with us, but some are not, due to obvious reasons. Huge efforts are being made by the government to bring back my sister,” he said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the abduction but it is feared that she may have been kidnapped by a criminal gang in Kabul motivated by ransom, according to Afghan officials.
Abductions for ransom in Afghanistan are on the rise and criminal gangs have made millions of dollars from kidnapping foreign nationals.