TAMIL NADU

It is jubilation time for Nellore villages

NELLORE DEC. 24. When nearly three weeks ago, two employees — Varadaiah and Murali — of a construction company of Nellore district, based in Kabul, were kidnapped nobody would have thought that the ordeal would end so soon.

When the news of their release reached the district on Wednesday it was jubilation everywhere as against the gloom that pervaded the entire area. There was happiness everywhere in the tiny village of Vavveru of Butchireddipalem mandal, to which Varadaiah (27) belongs. As soon as news of his release was confirmed villagers made a beeline to the house of Varadaiah, where his mother, Venkataseshamma, was till then very much worried about his fate.

When he was kidnapped she was not in the village and relatives had hesitated to leak out the news, knowing fully well her attachment to Varadaiah. Venkataseshamma told this reporter that judging by the feelings of her relatives, she suspected that something bad had happened and wanted to know as to what happened. Since then, her grief has known no bounds, though she was sure that justice would be done to her son.

She said that a phone call came from Kabul around noon at a nearby house, but by the time she went there the call got disconnected. Then she was called on the phone by the main promoter of the construction company, B. Seenaiah, who informed her good news, and assured her that the employees would reach New Delhi on Sunday and their native places on Tuesday.

The jubilation was the same at Atmakur where Murali belonged to. A beaming P. Penchaliah, father of Murali, felt happy that his son was released. The information was conveyed on the phone by Murali to members of an opposite house and then the family rushed to have an anxious talk with him. Mr. Penchalaiah, a former MPDO, was also informed by the company sources about his son's release. Soon, there was jubilation and distribution of sweets.

Asked whether his son would be permitted again to work in Kabul, Mr. Penchalaiah said it all depended on the will of his son. Murali told the family members that he was doing fine and would soon meet them. Mr. Penchalaih thanked the BJP president, M. Venkaiah Naidu, and Mr. Krishnama Naidu, who took up the matter at the highest level.

Mr. Bollineni Seenaiah said that the two were were handed over through the good offices of the Afghan Interior Minister, Jalali, and the Indian Ambassador to Afghanistan, Vivek Katju.

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