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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

250 Punjabis still stranded: Iraq-returned youth

Gurpreet Singh Chhina, Hindustan Times  Mandi Gobindgarh, July 05, 2014
First Published: 13:23 IST(5/7/2014) | Last Updated: 13:25 IST(5/7/2014)

Joblessness, poor land holdings and the lure of better prospects drove thousands of youths still stranded in Iraq to migrate to the Arab country, said Lakhwinder Singh who returned to the district.

Narrating his tale, he said that about 1800 Indian youths including 250 from Punjab were still stranded there.

Singh said that the Iraq incident had shaken the confidence of all Indians, describing that a man from Rajasthan died of cardiac arrest when he learnt that situation for Indians in Iraq became tense. He added that the Rajasthani had come to Iraq as he had to marry off two daughters.

Singh, a resident of Shanti Nagar in Mandi Gobindgarh, said that after the death of the Rajasthani man, insecurity built up among other Indians and they turned to the Indian embassy for assistance in returning to India, but their efforts, he claimed, were futile.

Saying that the situation was worsening by the day, Singh claimed that many Indians stopped going out and a result faced depression from being confined Calling himself “lucky”, Singh said that he was consistent in his efforts to contact the embassy officials who guided him back.

However, he added the youths whose passports had been seized by their employers were unable to get any assistance from the officials in getting their passports back.

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