Hyderabad, Dec 15:
The family of Ankireddy Vishwakant expressed joy on learning that he was rescued safely from a Sydney cafe when Australian police stormed it to end a hostage drama.
Clad in a white shirt and with raised hands, the techie was seen emerging from the cafe and escorted by two commandos.
His family spoke to Ankireddy’s wife in Sydney who confirmed the news. She told them he spoke to her over telephone after being rescued.
“Thank God! This is a big relief for us,” said Ankireddy’s father Ishwar Reddy at his house in Guntur town, about 300 km from here.
The software engineer’s mother Sulochana, who was in shock since the hostage drama began in the morning, was overjoyed. Relatives and friends gathered at their house to share the happy moment.
An employee of software giant Infosys, Ankireddy hails from Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.
His father Ishwar Reddy, a government employee, said his son stopped at the cafe on his way to work when a gunman took him and 29 others hostage.
Reddy’s daughter-in-law told him that police officers assured her that the operation to secure the safe release of the hostages would end in a day.
Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu spoke to Ishwar Reddy and took up the matter with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who also spoke to Ankireddy’s wife over phone.
Anikreddy was living in Australia for six years with his wife. The couple has a daughter.
After working for a project with the National Australian Bank in Melbourne, he moved about a year ago to Sydney to work as a senior project manager with another bank.
Ishwar Reddy said his son was recently conferred Australian citizenship.
Hailing from Gangireddy Palle in Guntur, Anikreddy is an alumnus of BITS Pilani. He got married seven years ago.