Senior Congress leader Amarinder Singh on Saturday appealed to the Centre to intensify efforts for the release of about 40 youths from the state held captive by militants in violence-ravaged Iraq.
Welcoming the safe return of Indian nurses from Iraq, the Congress' Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha said, "while it is a matter of great satisfaction and immense relief that the nurses have returned home, there is an overwhelming concern and anxiety among the relatives of the youth, most of whom are from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, about their safety and release."
Other than the 40 Punjabi youths, a number of persons from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh are still stranded in the strife-torn country.
Amarinder said it is now more than a fortnight since they (youths) had been last able to contact their relatives back home.
"There is no word from the youths as under what conditions they have been kept and how and when they will be released," he said in a statement.