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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Govt rushes officers to aid stranded Indians in Iraq

Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 27, 2014
First Published: 18:34 IST(27/6/2014) | Last Updated: 18:41 IST(27/6/2014)

The government has urged diplomats from neighbouring countries to rush to Iraq to strengthen the Indian mission there to help deal with the ongoing crisis. It wants to move in as many as 20 officers to ensure help to Indian nationals there.

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There are 10,000 Indians in the country and some of them have already come back. The government is putting up camp offices at various places, including Karbala, Najaf and Basra.

"We need additional officials to be deployed to ensure we reach out to our nationals who are in need," said a government official.

India has already issued an advisory urging all Indian nationals, who wish to travel voluntarily, that they can take commercial flights out from the airports of Irbil, Baghdad, Najaf and Basra. The 39 Indians in captivity in Mosul are reported to be safe.

The officials, who are being sent as reinforcement, will also work on the joint committee which will handle issues relating to those Indian nationals who have problems about their immigration status.  This committee will have officials from the Iraq home ministry and immigration. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had said last week that documentations of Indian nationals will not be an issue.

There are various complaints from Indian nationals who are working in Iraq. While some of them cited issues such as lack of documentation, others also complained about harassment from local people.


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