"It's unfortunate that we have not been able to get him released. We have been tracking him and we have been told that he is with his abductors but he is safe. We are working with Afghan agencies to get him released unharmed," Sinha said.

Sinha said he is in touch with the Afghan authorities on the issue and indicated that 47-year-old Alex, who hails from Tamil Nadu, was somewhere close to the Herat province where he was abducted by the gunmen early this month.

He refused to divulge further details, saying it was a sensitive matter but expressed hope of his coming out of the captivity of the abductors in a few days.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's personal intervention in securing the release of Kumar, who was working with an educational charity the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) as its Afghanistan Director for over three years.

In the wake of unfortunate sequence of events that included an attack on the Indian Consulate in Herat recently, security measure have been strengthened in Afghanistan to protect Indian assets in the war torn country.

Sinha said Lashkar-e-Taiba was behind the attack.

"Local agencies have conveyed to us which was confirmed to them by international agencies that the attack was the handiwork of LeT, who have also been involved in attacks on our embassy in the past. We are alert and aware of their plan and increased security in terms of procedure on deployment and coordination with the local agencies," Sinha said.

"Three months ago we enhanced manpower for Kabul and other consulates. Director-General ITBP and Foreign Secretary visited Afghanistan recently and we have had regular visit of security experts," he added.

(Agencies)

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