COTABATO CITY: Civic organizations and members of the business community have appealed to the abductors of an Indian national to set him free for health reasons.
The traders also sought for Mike Khemani’s immediate release so he can continue his humanitarian projects that have benefited Muslim and Christian communities in the city and its environs.
Khemani, 60, was abducted by four armed men who posed as policemen in front of Sugni Superstore that the victim owns and brought him to Maguindanao province through the Rio Grande de Mindanao on Tuesday evening.
He has been a benefactor of the Rotary Club of Cotabato’s annual “Handog Pabuka,” a project which provides free dinner to Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, according to Sam Fontanilla, former Rotary Club governor.
He said Khemani was also an active supporter of “adopt a Mosque” project and various medical dental services of Rotary Club for Muslim and Christian indigents in the city.
Fontanilla said the group was saddened by the continued captivity of Khemani which he said is weak because of poor health.
The Indian trader owns a chain of department stores in Cotabato City, Kabacan, North Cotabato and Kidapawan City.
His security guard was killed and another was hurt when they attempted to prevent the abduction, according to Sr. Supt. Rolen Balquin, city police chief.
Mayor Japal Guiani Jr. has already appealed to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to help facilitate Khemani’s release since he was being kept in an area known to be area of operation of the rebel group.
The MILF is talking peace with the government, which among others, vowed to indict lawless elements and kidnappers seeking refuge in MILF held areas.
Balquin said police investigators have clues on the identities of the kidnappers but declined to reveal names pending validation by investigators and intelligence operatives.
No ransom has been raised and the group claimed responsibility for abducting the Indian trader.