A 22-year-old sailor from Kalyan in Maharashtra's Thane district, who was among seven Indians detained by the Houthi rebels in Yemen since January this year, has returned home following his release.
Mohammad Munawwar Sameer, who worked for a Dubai-based shipping company, reached home in Govindwadi area of Kalyan on Thursday, after a nearly four-month-long ordeal.
The seven Indians were among 14 persons released from the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital of Sanaa last Sunday. Their United Arab Emirates-flagged cargo vessel named Rwabee was seized by Houthi rebels off the port of Hodeidah (in Yemen) on January 2.
Talking to reporters on Friday, Sameer said, "Seven Indians, including me, were among 14 foreign nationals held captive by the Houthis since January 2...During the captivity, I went through hell." He, however, added that during the detention, he or his colleagues were not harmed by the Houthis.
Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his cabinet colleagues for taking efforts in their release, Sameer said, "Following the measures by the Indian government, I was freed along with six others, and I and returned home on Thursday." Sameer lives with his mother and sister. Delighted by his return, they said that this year's Eid, which will be celebrated on May 2, is going to be a very special one for them.
Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs had said that India had been exerting all efforts for the release of the Indian crew members over the past few months and that it had been in touch with various parties to ensure the safety and well-being of the sailors.
The issue was also taken up by the Indian delegation at the UN Security Council.