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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Tension in Iraq makes Amritsar family nervous

Usmeet Kaur, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, June 17, 2014
First Published: 12:55 IST(17/6/2014) | Last Updated: 13:00 IST(17/6/2014)

The ongoing tension in Iraq has caused panic in a family of Amritsar district which has now approached the central government to help in bringing back their 24-year-old lad Manjinder Singh, who has been stuck in that country.

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Manjinder, who hails from village Bhoewal in Amritsar district, had gone to Iraq in search of greener pastures in 2013. But now with tension growing in Iraq and Manjinder stuck there, his sister Gurpinder Kaur, a school teacher, has urged the Centre to rescue her brother who is currently in Mosul, along with 41 Punjabi boys.

“My brother told me that he was to be sent to Dubai by the travel agent concerned, but the latter instead sent him to Iraq and for the past nine months, Manjinder has been working as a labourer there,” claimed Gurpinder while talking to HT.

She further said, “Everything was fine till the time we got a phone call from my brother who was working in a private company in Iraq. Manjinder said that at the time of tension in Iraq, the company has refused to take his and other Indians’ responsibility. The top bosses of the company who have the documents and passports of my brother and other Punjabi boys are absconding. He told with me that food is not a problem, they are getting to eat something for now, but as he has not been given salary for the past three months, he won’t be able to survive for long.”

She said, “The last call I received from him was on Sunday wherein he said he doesn’t even have enough balance in his mobile phone to talk to us and during this crisis, there are no jobs left for them. He wants to come back to India”.

Gurpinder said, “Now, his phone is switched off. We all are very worried for him. If the situation gets worse, how will he and other Indians manage there. I request the central government to bring my brother back and also help other boys”.

Talking about the 41 Punjabi boys stranded in Iraq, she said, “I have been in regular touch with DV Singh, the head of chancery of Indian embassy in Iraq, and he has confirmed that my brother is safe till now and also told me that other 41 Punjabi boys and 50 Bangladeshi boys are stuck there”.

She said that she has written letters in this regard to union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and also the Indian embassy in Iraq.

Gurpinder said, “I have urged them to rescue Indian workers trapped in Mosul in the wake of the current to crisis in Iraq. I have mentioned the name of the company Manjinder worked for and the name of the Iraqi socioreligious organisation which is keeping these boys safe and is ready to rescue them.

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