Taliban demanding Rs.15 mn ransom, says kidnapped Indian’s wife


Chennai : The Taliban have demanded a ransom of Rs.15 million to release P. Simon, a Chennai resident who was kidnapped in Afghanistan two months ago, the victim’s wife P.S. Vasanthi said here Wednesday.

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“While me and my two sons, aged 9 and 6, are virtually starving here without any information about my husband, we hear that the Taliban are demanding a ransom of Rs.1.5 crores (Rs.15 million or $312,000) from his Italian employers or from us. We have been told that failure to pay will result in his being killed,” Vasanthi, 35, told IANS.

The trouble Simon, 39, was facing could be due to his conversion to Christianity at the time of his marriage 10 years ago, she added.

“My husband was taken to Afghanistan by his elder brother P.G. Subramanian, who was working there already, in January this year as a cook to serve Italian soldiers. Perhaps he was kidnapped because he is a born-again Christian in that (predominantly Islamic) nation,” Vasanthi said.

“Neither his employers nor the Indian mission in that country seem to be seriously doing anything for Simon’s release,” Vasanthi added.

According to Simon’s uncle G. Muniswamy, he has been missing since Oct 13.

When contacted on telephone, officials in New Delhi said they had no independent information about the kidnap or the ransom demand.

“Enquiries, however, are being made,” an official said.