19 January Tuesday

Houthi releases 14 Indians detained in Sana’a for nine months

Anas YassinUpdated: Monday Nov 30, 2020

The released Indians in Sana Image: Indian Embassy, Djibouti

 Manama: Fourteen Indians, including two Keralites, have been released from the confinement of the Houthi militia in Yemeni capital Sana'a, for more than nine months.

The released Keralites were Kozhikode Vadakara native Kuriyadi Devapadam TK Praveen (46) and Thiruvananthapuram Vizhinjam native Musthafa (43).

The Indian embassy in Djibouti said on Twitter that the local Embassy official in Sana'a is making arrangements for their safe return to India.

The Indian Embassy Oman thanking the Government of Oman and the authorities concerned in this regard in a tweet of its own.

They released Indians are staying at a hotel in Sana'a and preparing to return home within two days via Aden airport after completing their emigration formalities.

The 14 Indian nationals were under detention in Sana by Houthis for the past 9 months.

All are said to be seamen. Their names are: Pravin, Mustafa, Mohan Raj, Manraj, Tanmi Rajendra, SK Hiron, Wakankar Ahmed Abdul Ghaful, Gavas Chetan Hari Chandra, Sanjeev Kumar, Lohar Niles Dhnaji, Lohar Sandeep Balu, Jeevaraj Dawood Mohammad, William Nichamden, and Sari Feroz Nasrudar. Of these, seven are from Maharashtra, while two each from Tamil Nadu and Kerala and the rest from UP, Bengal and Pondicherry.

In addition to the Indians, the group included five Bangladeshis and an Egyptian, local media reported.

They were abducted on February 3 this year during their way to the Saudi port of Yanbo from the island of Masira in Oman. They were aboard the small ships Al Rahiya, Dana 6 and Fareeda, to complete six months of work in Saudi Arabia.

Praveen, an employee of the shipping company for 17 years, was the ship's chief officer. During their journey, Dana 6 sank due to bad weather. The crew then traveled to Al Rahiya but soon anchored on an island owing to bad weather. Later, they were abducted by armed Houthi rebels, who reached the island on four fishing boats. They were taken to the Salif port first.

They were told they would be released within three days, but on the contrary, taken to Sana'a and locked in a hotel there, workers said.

Currently, the Indian mission is not functioning in Yemen. The Indian Embassy in Djibouti is in charge of Yemen. There is a local staff working for the embassy in Yemen.

There were repeated appeals from the families of the detainees through media and through Social Media, to help with the release of the seamen who were in this long detention. Earlier this month, M Velmati, a native of Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, had approached the Supreme Court seeking the intervention of the Central Government in the release of 40 Indians, including her husband, who was imprisoned in Yemen. A bench headed by Rohinton F Nariman had directed the Central Government to reply to the complaint within three weeks.