It was an ordeal which ended surprisingly. For Nadarajah Guruparan the 24 hour experience since his abduction on Tuesday was something he would not easily forget especially since he feared he was about to face the same fate that a few prominent journalists had faced in recent times ? death for using the pen.
?I thought it was the end for me? a now visibly relieved Sooriyan FM news manager Nadarajah Guruparan (39) said recalling his abduction in Mt. Lavinia and subsequent release by a group of unidentified armed gunmen.
Mr. Guruparan was abducted by at least four or five armed gunmen early Tuesday morning minutes after he left for work from his Mt. Lavinia residence in his private vehicle which was later found abandoned in close proximity to his house.
Taking time off to speak to the Daily Mirror during the CID inquiries at his residence Mr. Guruparan said the men who abducted him switched off his mobile phone and left it in his vehicle then made him lower his head, forced him into the captors` van and drove away.
?At first I refused to get out of my vehicle but when they pointed guns at me I had no choice so I got down. They switched my mobile phone off and kept it in my van. They then asked me to lower my head so that I didn`t see their faces and led me into their van. They tied my hands, blindfolded me and drove away,? Mr. Guruparan recalled.
Although he could not see the faces of his captors Mr. Guruparan said he managed to get a glimpse of one of the men who initially held a gun at him, adding that the drive from where he was abducted to where he was held captive took about one hour.
Minutes later Mr. Guruparan`s colleagues telephoned his residence saying he had not reported for work at which point his wife had realized something was not right. She went out of the house and found her husband`s abandoned vehicle near the lane. ?There were about 5 or 6 people at the place I was being held. They all spoke in Sinhala. I could hear phones ringing throughout,? Mr. Guruparan said adding that the first thing his captors told him was that they had to clear some allegations they had received about him and would release him only once matters were cleared.
Surprisingly the captors had not threatened or assaulted Mr. Guruparan and had even offered him food and water right through the period he was being held despite his refusing to eat until the moment he was guaranteed freedom.
?They gave me water and food. I didn`t want to eat anything. At regular intervals they kept telling me they were checking the information about me. By evening they said I will be released as they managed to clear the matter they wanted to check on,? Mr. Guruparan said.
As dusk fell a weary and hungry Guruparan was offered fried rice for dinner which he ate, after his hands were untied, giving him hope that he would be released by night or the next day as promised by his captors although a slight doubt still remained.
Early last morning, the father of an 8 year old son and a 11 year old girl, was to see his wish come true as he was put into the captors` van, hands tied and eyes still sealed with tape, and driven away to Kohuwala where he was asked to get down, hands untied, offered Rs.200 as taxi fare and set free.
Mr. Guruparan says he had received threatening calls in the past but was not in a position to think of a motive behind his abduction and even more surprising released nor could he surmise as to who his captors were even as intense investigations to nab the culprits are well on track.