Judith D’Souza, the 40-year-old Indian woman, who was abducted in Kabul late on Thursday, is possibly being held by one of several organised crime cartels who earn millions of dollars in ransom from kidnapping foreign nationals, investigators told The Indian Express on Saturday.
Two men have been detained for questioning. The report further quotes sources as saying that the kidnappers spoke Pashto with an accent which suggested that they were from Shomali Plains.
Indian authorities and family members of Judith have taken to Twitter to launch a campaign to bring her back. #rescuejudith has been trending on Twitter with External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj assuring the country that the government “will spare no efforts to rescue her”.
Responding to a tweet by Judith’s brother Jerome D’Souza, Swaraj said “we are doing everything to rescue her.” Jerome has the support of hundreds of Indians who are constantly tweeting him and making efforts to locate Judith.
India’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Manpreet Vohra, too took to Twitter to announce that investigations are still ongoing.
Judith, who is from Kolkata, was working as a senior technical advisor for an NGO Aga Khan Development Network. Her father received a call from the Indian Embassy in Kabul informing him that his daughter has “in all probability been abducted,” reported The Indian Express.
He was informed that three persons – Judith, a security guard and the driver of the vehicle, were abducted.
Swaraj, who is in touch with Judith’s family, has expressed hope that India and Afghanistan will soon have her released.
“It happened in a different country. The government of that country should take steps. She liked the place as she said there was a lot of work to be done,” Judith’s sister Agnes D’Souza told the media in Kolkata. “But if such a thing happens, who would want to go back. I am asking every channel to do their part. The Government of India must do something and get my sister back. I want her back,” she added.
She said Judith was scheduled to return home Wednesday next and had rung up two days ago. “She did not express any apprehension,” she said. Agnes said, “We had asked her (Judith) not to go there but she did not listen.” Chief Executive of Aga Khan Trust for Culture, India, Ratish Nanda said every effort is being made to secure her safe release.
“On 9 June, a staff member of the Aga Khan Foundation was abducted. An investigation by the authorities has been launched, in conjunction with security officials and various partners. Every effort is being made to secure the safe release of the staff member,” he said in a statement in New Delhi.
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