India has secured the release of four Indians arrested in Syria for entering the war-torn nation without valid travel documents.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj welcomed the freed Indians home and expressed gratitude to the Syrian government for their release.
“I had requested Deputy Prime Minister (Walid Al Maoulem) of Syria for their release during his visit to India in January this year. Thank you, Syria,” Sushma Swaraj tweeted.
“Welcome home Arun Kumar Saini, Sarvjit Singh, Kuldeep Singh and Joga Singh,” the minister wrote on the micro blogging site, adding that she appreciated “the officers who facilitated their journey from Syria to India”.
The Syrian government arrested the four Indians on the suspicion of joining the Islamic State terror group after crossing “over from Jordan to Syria”.
However, the Indian government in February denied that the arrested Indians wanted to join the Islamist group that rules large parts in Syria and Iraq.
The government in reply to a Rajya Sabha question said the four travelled to Syria without a valid visa and were arrested as “illegal immigrants”.
They had gone to Jordan and entered Syria on their way to Lebanon for employment, the government said.