The activists of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by its district convenor Ashok Talwar, held a candle march on Sunday to express their solidarity with the Punjabis stranded in strife-torn Iraq.
The march started from Lawrence Road and culminated at the residence-cum-office of the Amritsar deputy commissioner. The AAP activists submitted a memorandum, addressed to the the Punjab chief minister, to the deputy commissioner with an appeal to him to expedite the efforts for evacuation of the Punjabis from Iraq.
Speaking on the occasion, Ashok Talwar said that AAP is deeply concerned for the well-being of Indians in general and Punjabis in particular who are stuck in strife-torn Iraq where a ferocious battle is going on between the militants and the Iraq government.
He said that it is a matter of great worry that the militants have taken many Punjabis hostage, whose whereabouts and fate is unknown.
“It has also been learnt that the passports of many Punjabis employed in infrastructure and construction companies in Iraq have been confiscated by the companies so that they do not leave their country. The families of those who are in captivity or have been stranded at their work places are in regular touch with us,” he said.
He added that while the families are awaiting their loved ones, the panic is growing each day as the ongoing war in Iraq is becoming intense. “Moreover, there has been no appropriate communication on the part of the Centre and state government with these families who need maximum care and support in this hour of trauma,” Talwar added.
Vijay Mehta, general secretary of the district unit of AAP, urged the chief minister to make all-out efforts along with the central government to ensure the safe return of all the Punjabis from Iraq.
He said that necessary directions may also be issued to the Indian embassy in Iraq to accommodate the persons who do not have passports or valid documents with them.