Kochi

Captive of Somalian pirates reaches home

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If Unnikrishnan ever writes a book, then its title might be “Four years and one month”.

For, that’s the period he remained in the custody of the dreadful Somali pirates cut off from the rest of the world.

And when he eventually landed at the Kochi airport on Friday, he still couldn’t believe that he was back among his dear ones, whom he had lost all hopes of meeting ever again in his life.

Unnikrishnan, a resident of Mallappally in Pathanamthitta, recollected that the sail from Mombasa to Durban appeared a normal one till the pirates surrounded them and took over the ship. Even when they released the vessel following negotiations with the Dubai-based shipping company, pirates didn’t release seven Indian sailors aboard and took them to Somalia demanding the release of their 140-odd comrades languishing in Indian jails.

“It was a struggle maintaining optimism amidst mental torturing by pirates. The two-minute-long conversations with wife Shobha once in three months alone helped to maintain sanity,” Mr. Unnikrishnan told The Hindu .

George, a resident of Koothattukulam, another Malayali released from the pirate captivity along with Mr. Unnikrishnan, recollected how mentally destroyed he was when there seemed no progress even after a new Union government had assumed power back home.

Following their release from captivity, they reached Mumbai via Nairobi on November 3 at 2 a.m. They eventually reached Kochi by a flight at 10.50 a.m. on Friday.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 9:32:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/captive-of-somalian-pirates-reaches-home/article6577390.ece

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