Was a 17-hour agonising wait: Sydney hostage’s father

Kolkata (IANS): It was an agonizing 17-hour wait for the parents of Puspendu Ghosh, who was trapped by a gunman in the hostage drama at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Sydney Monday.

“At around 8.15 a.m. Monday I was told by one of his colleagues that my son was in the cafe when the gunman took hostage those inside. He told me to watch the news on television, and said they were in touch with the police in Sidney,” said Puspendu’s father Pushpal Kumar Ghosh.

A terrified Pushpal and his wife Smritikona sat constantly befoe their tc set Monday watching every development and praying for their son.

Pushpal did not call up his son fearing it could put his life in danger. “I texted him, but it went unanswered. I thought I should not communicate with him any more, as it would have attracted the gunman’s attention.”

As the 17-hour hostage crisis ended, Smritikona saw her son getting out of the cafe along with other hostages with his hands raised up. “But suddenly he lay down. Later he told me that he acted as per the police’s instruction as firing was on.”

“The call from Puspendu came at 1 a.m. Tuesday. He said he was safe. I can’t explain how relived I felt,” said Pushpal.

Puspendu, an engineer with Infosys, has been staying in Australia since 2009.

“We don’t want him to stay so far from us any more. We want him to return to India,” said Pushpal.