HindustanTimes Tue,23 Dec 2014

6 youths stuck in strife-torn Iraq, kin seeks govt’s help

Aman Dixit , Hindustan Times  SAS nagar, June 21, 2014
First Published: 09:43 IST(21/6/2014) | Last Updated: 09:48 IST(21/6/2014)

A relative of six youths stuck in Iraq following violence by Islamist militants sought help from the Punjab government to ensure their safety and early return here on Friday.

The six youths were identified as Jasvir Singh, Surmukh Singh, Mann Singh — natives of Sidhupur Kalan village in Fatehgarh Sahib, Kuldeep Singh from Adhrera village, Baljeet Singh from Jassal village, and Satnam Singh from Amrali village — in Rupnagar.

Their panic-stricken relatives pleaded the government for their safety.

Harbans Singh, a resident of Kharar, who recently returned from Saudi Arabia after three years , and a relative of the six, said, “Ever since the news of the attack broke, they have been in touch with us. They are unable to return to India because their passport have forcibly been kept with the company they work for. Hrbans Singh, relative attack broke, they have been in touch with us over phone. They are unable to return to India because their passports and other documents have forcibly been kept with the company that they work for.” Harbans added that the construction company Four Dimension has been making them work against their wishes.

All six are presently residing at Al Mazar town, 250 kms from Bagdad, Harbans further said.

“I have been in touch with them over the phone. We even talk thrice a day. All of them are staying together and are afraid to step out,” Harbans said.

Kuldeep and Satnam reached Iraq in January, while Surmukh and Baljeet have been working there for the past one and a half year. Jasvir and Mann have been living in the country for three years from now.

Harbans said, “Everytime we talk, they rue that neither the company they work for was returning their passports so that they could come back to India, nor did they allow them to stay at their place where they felt safe.”

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