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HindustanTimes Wed,26 Nov 2014

Punjab CM, families of abducted Indian workers in Iraq meet Sushma

PTI  New Delhi, June 19, 2014
First Published: 19:02 IST(19/6/2014) | Last Updated: 19:06 IST(19/6/2014)
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal along with families of some of the Punjabi workers abducted in Iraq on Thursday met external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and shared their concerns with her.

The families of the abducted workers impressed upon Swaraj to secure the early release of their kin kidnapped presumably by Islamic militants in oil-rich Mosul town of strife-torn Iraq.

Badal, on his part, called for early action by the central government to secure the release of abducted Punjabi workers and assured the state government was ready to bear all expenses for their safe return home.

Swaraj assured the anxious families of all-out support and said the government would not leave any stone unturned in securing their early release.

Badal said the state government was worried over the Punjabis kidnapped in Iraq as well as others trapped there and prayed for their well-being and safe return.

He said the central government is doing its best in securing their release with the help of international humanitartian organisations working in Iraq.

"We are very worried. I met Union Minister Sushma Swaraj in this regard. I have asked the Centre to make all-out efforts to secure the safe release of the Indians, including those from Punjab, from strife-torn Iraq.

We are ready to bear all the expenses for bringing them back," Badal had told PTI.

He said the state government cannot do anything in this regard except pay for their expenses and pressed the Centre to take immediate diplomatic steps to secure their release.

At least 40 Indian construction workers, working on a construction project in Mosul in northern Iraq, which has been captured by militant group ISIS, were kidnapped while they were being evacuated on Tuesday.

Badal was accompanied by all Shiromani Akali Dal MPs during the meeting with Swaraj.
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