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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

British Tamil couple kidnapped in Chennai describe ordeal

A British couple kidnapped in Chennai last week have been rescued in a joint operation by Indian police and Scotland Yard.

Kanapathipillai Thavarajah, 59, and his wife Salajah, 55, originally from Sri Lanka, were abducted after landing at Chennai airport last week.

The couple's daughter Dharshini was contacted by the kidnappers who demanded a £300,000 ransom for her parents' release.

The Thavarajah's - from Edgware, West London - were held in the  remote village of Mandarakuppam more than 100 miles from the south Indian city after having their mobile phones and passports taken away.

They had been held in a dark room with very little food and were rescued after police honed in on the kidnappers' mobile phone signal.

Mr Thavarajah said the rescue was like being given a "second life".

Dharshini, who studied medicine at Queen Mary, today told the Evening Standard of her relief.

The 25-year-old said: “When I spoke to them they were obviously very shocked and upset by what has happened to them.

“There are no words to say how relieved I am – I’m able to breathe again. It was absolutely dreadful.”

On arriving in India from a wedding in Colombo, Sri Lanka, last Wednesday, the couple were lured into what they thought was a taxi to take them to their hotel, it was reported.

Dharshini said her parents’ captors had threatened them with knives throughout their four-day ordeal, but they had not been harmed.

A Chennai police commissioner said a gang operated from London and India to orchestrate the kidnapping.

- Reports

Picture Courtesy of The Evening Standard

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