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Families await return of the released sailors


Shambhavi Rai,CNN-IBN
Jun 14, 2011 at 09:24pm IST

New Delhi: The families of the six abducted Indian sailors aboard MV Suez may be relieved and eagerly awaiting their return, but in the end, the entire episode has left a bitter taste, specially because of the manner in which the government handled the crisis.

The Sharma family in Jammu has remained glued to their television sets ever since they got the news of MV Suez being released by the Somali pirates who had held them captive for 10 months.

Madhu Sharma hasn’t stopped smiling because her husband, Narottam is on his way back home. They're grateful not to the Indian government but to the Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney, who was one of the negotiators.

NK Sharma's Wife Madhu Sharma said, "Burney promised us that he will try to get the Indian sailors back along with the Pakistani sailors and had been working very hard to get them released."

"Earlier I was afraid but when mumma told me yesterday that papa's ship has been released, i was very happy," said NK Sharma's Son, Nikhil.

In Sonepat too, another family is eagerly waiting the return of the released sailors.

Indian Sailor's Wife Sampa Arya said, "It's confirmed that they have been freed. They will call us after reaching a safe destination."

But the struggle is far from over. The cargo ship that was released on Monday night is currently sailing towards Egypt with its crew. But without any help from the Indian Navy to steer them towards a safe exit, they fear they might be captured again.

Indian Sailor Ravinder said, "We have now sailed 50 nautical miles and there is no contact with any naval fleet, not even Indian navy. All of us are very weak and exhausted, we do not have any food and we are praying that we don't come across any other pirate group. There is a lot of fear in the ship."

“The government didn't do anything for us. In fact, Pakistan did a lot. We would like to thank Ansar Burney for saving us. We are eternally grateful to him because when our own government didn’t support us, he did,” Ravinder said.

Ravinder also thanked IBN 7 for helping them in this ordeal.

When confronted with questions about the Indian government's supposed insensitive approach towards the sailors' and the fact that a Pakistani national turned out to be the sailors' messiah, External Affairs minister SM Krishna said, "Lets not get into speculating analysis of who is behind it and who is provoking it. The fact is that we were monitoring what the other countries have been doing."

The last ten months have been an ordeal for the captive sailors’ families and it is only when their men return this nightmare will finally come to an end.

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