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NEW DELHI:Five Indian sailors, who were kidnapped from a ship in Nigeria, have been released.

"I am happy to share that due to sustained efforts of various stakeholders including Ministry of Shipping, the Directorate General of Shipping and the High Commission of India, Abujam, Nigeria, the kidnapped India seafarers were successfully released and have reached the safe custody of the authorities," said Minister of State for Shipping Mansukh Mandaviya.

Five India sailors -- Sudeep Chaudhary, Ankit Hooda, Chirag Yadav, Avinash Reddy, and Moogu Ravi, had been kidnapped from a vessel -- MT Apecus -- on April 19, this year.

An Inter-Ministerial Group of Officers (IMGO) was set up by the Central government, under the Ministry of Shipping to deal with the maritime security situation.

The Ministry through Directorate General of Shipping continuously coordinated with various agencies to work towards their early release.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had also taken up the issue with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, after the father of Sudeep Chaudhary, a resident of Odisha, had appealed to him for his intervention in the matter.

Praising Jaishankar and Mandaviya for the release of the sailors, Union Minister Pradhan tweeted, "Thank you S Jaishankar, Mansukh Mandaviya and all the stakeholders for their efforts in securing the release of 5 Indian seafarers including that of Sudeep Chowdhary from Odisha who was amongst our citizens kidnapped by pirates in Nigeria."


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