Deputy commissioner (DC) Gurloveleen Singh Sidhu visited families of the 6 persons of the district, who reported on the dedicated police helpline about their kin in different cities of Iraq. The DC, expressing sympathy with them, assured all possible help to them besides reimbursement of all expenditure on bringing the stranded people back.
All the six stranded there had gone in search of small labour jobs after paying hefty sums to agents. In most of the cases, their first year’s earning barely covered the amounts they had paid to agents. Soon after landing in Iraq, their employers took their passports from them so that they do not leave the country and the company they were working with.
Hardeep Singh of Thulliwal village had gone about two-and-a-half years ago. His wife Baljit Kaur said that the agent, through whom Singh had gone to Iraq, had assured monthly salary of Rs. 35,000.
Kaur said, “The employer company was not paying him the committed salary. My husband was also not getting salary in time. So, he had resigned three months ago, but the company did not settle his account. That’s why he got stuck there. Had his account been settled in time, he would have been here safely a long time back.”
Jasbir Kaur of Moom village said, “My brother, Lakhbir Singh, has been working in Basra city of Iraq. His passport was taken from him by his employer company from the day one he landed in Iraq. He is reportedly safe and even doing his job. But the sword of fear is hanging all the time.”
Davinder Singh of Khiali village had gone to Iraq after paying Rs. 1.80 lakh to an agent, according to his mother Surinder Kaur. Kaur said his son was getting monthly salary of Rs. 30,000 as per the agent’s assurance. She hoped her son would be back after a week.
Jaskaran Singh of Moom village had also gone with the help of an agent after paying Rs. 1.35 lakh. His father Punjab Singh told that his son was living in an area which was unaffected so far. He said, “My son would fly back to India soon after his employer company returns his passport and pays him his due amount of Rs. 20,000.”
Satinder of Khiali village said, “My husband Gurnam Singh was employed with some Turkey-based company. The company has totally stopped its work in Iraq. So, my husband will come back soon.”
Makhan Khan of Moom village has been working as usual, said his father Resham Khan, adding that, “He went there after paying Rs. 1.35 lakh to Jaskaran Singh of our village. He is likely to return soon.”
The DC said, “The state and the central governments are collecting and collating all data related to stranded people for their speedy and safe return. The district administration will provide all possible help to the families of stranded people.”
The solace to the families is that none of the stranded people are in the list of 39 persons abducted in Mosul. All families are in touch over telephone with their relatives stranded there.