Sydney siege over after 16 hours

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 View image on Twitter
 View image on Twitter
HYDERABAD:  The father of an Infosys employee held hostage along with an unknown number of people at a cafe in Sydney today said he was informed about the crisis at 9.15 am by the company.Viswakanth Ankireddy, his father was told, left for work at 8 am, and he went to the Lindt Chocolate Cafe at around 10 am. “At that time around 30-40 people were there. Two terrorists entered the restaurant and locked it,” said Eswar Reddi in Hyderabad.After receiving the call from Infosys, the Reddys called their daughter-in-law, who reportedly said the hostages had been allowed to take lunch.
 “The Australian police assured me that everything will be fine and there is nothing to worry,” Mr Reddi said.

Viswakanth is a resident of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.

Earlier in the day, Infosys issued a statement confirming that its employee is among the hostages at the cafe. “We are also in the process of confirming the whereabouts of all our other employees in the city. We are in constant touch with the local authorities and Indian Consulate in Sydney for updates on the situation on ground,” Infosys said.

An armed man has held several people hostage for over 15 hours at the cafe at Martin’s Place, a major shopping and pedestrian thoroughfare near the Sydney Opera House in the central business district of the city.

The Indian consulate, about 400 metres from the cafe, was evacuated and closed. MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, “We have standard procedures to deal such incidences. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been in touch with the High Commissioner who in turn is in touch with Indian authorities. We have evacuated the staff from the counsel building but the Deputy Counsel General is available.”

The MEA said Indians can contact the High Commission at +61 419687008.

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9.47 pm: Indian Infosys techie safe, says Sushma SwarajAs reports came in that two hostages were dead, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj tweeted that Infosys techie Vishwakant Ankit Reddy was safe.Meanwhile PTI quoted Reddy’s father Ishwar Reddy saying that he was ok.

Sydney siege: Infosys employee safe

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter Hostages run towards armed tactical responce police as they run to freedom from a cafe under siege at Martin Place. PTIView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

A Lindt employee runs towards police officials after exiting from the cafe where over 15 people are being held hostage. AFP/Saeed KhanView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterMembers of the media outside the cafe in Sydney's central business district. AFPThe flag held up against a window at Sydney's Lindt cafe bears the Islamic testament of faith in Arabic. Police officials secure the area around Lindt cafe. AP

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