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Bhubaneswar: The family members of Odia sailor Sudeep Chaudhary, who was rescued along with four other Indian sailors following their abduction from a ship in Nigeria, have thanked Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and others for their help in ensuring the release of all the five seafarers.

Happiness of family members of Sudeep knew no bounds after Minister of State for Shipping, Mansukh Mandaviya broke the news of release of the five sailors on Friday.

“We had sought help from both the Centre and Odisha government through letters and tweets. Everyone helped us in ensuring safe release of Sudeep. We are happy that Sudeep will be back with us soon,"said Pradipta Chaudhary, father of the Odia sailor.

“There were 14 people in the ship. Though eight managed to escape, seven staff of the ship including my brother was held captive by Nigerian pirates in April. After the Ministry of External Affairs intervened, he was released. My brother has spoken to us and we are now that he is safe," said Swapna Patra, sister of the Odia sailor.

On Friday, Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya announced that the kidnapped five Indian seafarers were successfully released and have reached the safe custody of the authorities.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar through a tweet also appreciated the help of Nigerian authorities, the Ministry of Shipping and the High Commission of India in Abuja and all other stakeholders who contributed to the release of the seafarers.

“They are being brought to Port Harcourt under Nigerian police escort and our HC will safely repatriate them to India,” Jaishankar wrote in his tweet.

It is pertinent to mention that on April 19, the five Indian seafarers – Sudeep Chaudhary, Ankit Hooda, Chirag Yadav, Avinash Reddy & Moogu Ravi – from vessel ‘MT Apecus’, were kidnapped & taken ashore from vessel in outer anchorage of Bonny Island, Nigeria.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and former Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda had earlier urged the MEA for taking necessary measures for the release of Odia sailor and other seafarers.

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