Rajesh Kumar, 34, a civil engineer from Jammu is one of the Indians missing in Iraq. According to his family members, his phone is switched off for the last one week and reading developments there, they fear he may have also been abducted.
“He would call regularly. This week he was supposed to come back home. We are constantly trying his number, but his phone is switched off. It has never happened before,” said Reema, his wife.
Rajesh was working with Shapoorji Palonji construction company at Basra. The family members weren’t aware if he was sent to Mosul, the city seized by militants. But in his last conversation, though he didn’t name the place, he had said that situation was turning grave and serious with regular bombing.
“About a month back he told us that militants have started seizing the city and he wanted to come early,” said Raj Kumar, his elder brother.
Rajesh had gone there in September 2012 and had not visited his home since then. This week there was a family function and he was supposed to attend the same. Family members said Rajesh had told them that he had applied to get back his passport and air ticket in the HR department. His two-year contract was to end in September.
Rajesh had earlier also worked in Saudi Arabia. Married in 2010, he has two-year-old son. His wife was not happy with his decision to move out of the country. “I asked him to stay here. Even though he was also bit reluctant, but he decided to go because of the good remuneration,” said Reema.
There are many in his locality, Krishana Nagar, on the outskirts near Jammu airport, who are working abroad. It’s for this reason his family didn’t have any fear of his going out. Rajesh was earning around Rs 15,000 in Jammu while in Iraq he was getting around Rs 40,000. According to his family members, he was treated well by the company.
“I hope that he is safe. He never said anything negative about Iraq in the last two-years, but news coming from there is a cause of concern. For me, his safety is what matters most in my life,” said Reema.
The family plans to meet divisional commissioner Jammu on Friday.