The seven Indian nationals are being held captive in western Ethiopia by local workers alleged that they had not been paid salaries.
One of the hostages Chaitanya Hari, tweeted ‘’The safety situation is getting worse day by day. In our camp, Indians are not allowed to go outside to bring food, water and other essential items. The local people fear that once we leave the camp, they will not get their salaries.”
Another hostage Neeraj Raghuwanshi, put out a tweet, saying they were being held hostage for four days by local labourers and staff unhappy over non-payment of creditors’ and their salaries.
“We 7 employees from #ILFS are hostages by local labor/staff in Ethiopia from last 4 days coz of non-payment of creditors and local salaries. #ILFS denied to send fund from India. Kindly save us. Day2day situation worsening,” Raghuwanshi tweeted on Tuesday night, tagging prime minister Narendra Modi, his cabinet colleagues Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, as well as Uday Kotak, who is now heading the debt-ridden group.
Raghuwanshi also posted a screenshot of an email written to the company by his colleagues earlier pleading for assistance and fearing that the local administration may put them behind bars or the local staff may kill them because of the company’s fault. It was after Raghuwanshi and his colleagues failed to get a satisfactory response from the company that he resorted to putting out the tweet tagging the PM, finance minister, external affairs minister and Kotak to draw attention to their misfortune.
Responding to the SOS call, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) has stepped in to resolve the issue. MEA sources said the mission in Ethiopia is seriously being looked into and it is trying to sort out issues to help the Indians.
The Indian embassy too has reportedly written to the management of the company and will take action after receiving a response.
IL&FS was awarded multiple road 8-year contract by the Ethiopian Roads Authority in 2016.