Who was Hyderabad's Mohammed Asfan forced to fight Ukraine war killed in Russia? | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Who was Mohammed Asfan, Hyderabad man forced to fight Ukraine war killed in Russia?

Mar 07, 2024 07:34 AM IST

The last time Mohammed Asfan had spoken to his family was on December 31, 2023. On Wednesday, Indian embassy in Moscow confirmed his death.

In November last year, Mohammed Asfan, a resident of Hyderabad, and two other youths from Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir reached Russia as they were promised jobs as helpers in Russian government offices by the agents. The last time Mohammed Asfan had spoken to his family was on December 31, 2023. On Wednesday, March 6, the Indian embassy in Moscow confirmed the death of the 30-year-old man.

Mohammed Asfan, a resident of Hyderabad, had left for Russia in November last year.
Mohammed Asfan, a resident of Hyderabad, had left for Russia in November last year.

"We have learnt about the tragic death of an Indian national Shri Mohammed Asfan. We are in touch with the family and Russian authorities. Mission will make efforts to send his mortal remains to India," the Indian embassy in Moscow said in a post on 'X' (formally Twitter).

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Mohammed Imran, brother of Mohammed Asfan, has expressed concern about the confirmation of his brother's death and said the agents who were involved in trapping Asfan should be arrested.

Who was Mohammad Asfan?

  • According to Mohammed Imran, the agents, one of whom has an office in Dubai and runs a vlog called Baba Vlogs and two others from Mumbai, had taken 3 lakh each from the youth.

Mohammed Imran shows his brother Mohammed Asfan photo who is stranded in Russia along the war-torn Ukraine border, at their home in Hyderabad, on February 22, 2024.(AFP)
Mohammed Imran shows his brother Mohammed Asfan photo who is stranded in Russia along the war-torn Ukraine border, at their home in Hyderabad, on February 22, 2024.(AFP)
  • After reaching Moscow, Mohammed Asfan and the two others were made to sign a document in Russian. But later realised that they were recruited as “helpers” in the Russian Army, Mohammed Imran claimed.
  • Mohammed Asfan had also contacted the agents and informed them that they were being trained to use weapons, but the agents again lied to them saying it was a part of the job. But, the youths were subsequently taken to the Russia-Ukraine border, Mohammed Imran said.
  • Also Read | Ukraine war: 7 Indian tourists from Punjab, Haryana ‘tricked’ into joining Russian Army, seek help
  • Mohammed Imran said when they had contacted the agents recently, they said that Asfan's agreement was cancelled. He was also informed that Mohammed Asfan was injured.
  • Meanwhile, AIMIM sources told news agency PTI that the party's chief Asaduddin Owaisi had contacted the Indian embassy in Moscow after Mohammed Asfan's family had been repeatedly approaching him in this regard over the past few days.
  • An official from the Indian embassy in Moscow reportedly confirmed to Asaduddin Owaisi about Mohammed Asfan's death.
  • Mohammed Imran, meanwhile, claimed that agents in Russia, who are in contact with him, are saying that Mohammad Asfan is alive and is in the Marinca territory of Ukraine. They cancelled his agreement on February 16 with another source. "Agents are saying he is alive, but the embassy says he is dead," news agency ANI quoted Mohammed Asfan as saying.
  • Mohammed Imran said one of his brother's friends in Russia told him that his brother got bullet injuries. "We got news of his injury on January 23. One of his friends, Arbab Hussain, told me of his bullet injuries via voice message. I am suspicious of misinformation about his death. We can only trust the embassy, not the agents. But agents are saying he is alive. If this is true, we want justice," he said.

Asaduddin Owaisi flagged the issue last month

On February 21, Asaduddin Owaisi had told the media that family members of Indian youth, including some from Telangana, had met him and informed that their kin were duped by agents on the promise of jobs and taken to Russia, but were allegedly sent to fight on the Russia-Ukraine border.

The Hyderabad MP had requested the Union government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister S Jaishankar to hold talks with the Russian government to bring the youth safely back to India. He also claimed that the two batches of people were sent to Russia from all across the country.

On Wednesday, the MEA said they were in touch with the family and Russian authorities and are making efforts to send his mortal remains to India.

Another Indian killed in February

Hemal Ashwinbhai Mangukiya from Gujarat was killed in an attack by Ukraine in Russian-occupied Donetsk on February 24. Hemal Ashwinbhai Mangukiya, a resident of Surat in Gujarat, was killed in a Ukrainian air strike while serving as a “security helper” with the Russian Army. He had travelled to Russia last December.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI)

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