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Stranded Indians safe, assures govt

The Indians in captivity in Iraq are unharmed, the government said on Saturday after establishing contact with the workers who were rounded up by suspected Sunni militants in Mosul town in the violence-hit Gulf nation. Indian workers in Iraq share their plight

world Updated: Jun 22, 2014 00:11 IST
HT Correspondent

The government’s continuing efforts to free the 39 Indian workers stranded in Iraq have not yielded fruit despite having established contact with ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) with the international Red Crescent as a key interlocutor.

The government has assured that all Indians in captivity were “unharmed” and it was “fully engaged” and that “every possible effort” was being made to ensure their release. As efforts were on to rescue Indians from the troubled area, Amnesty International claimed that hundreds of Indian nationals may be stranded in Najaf province.

The human rights watchdog claimed it had spoken over the phone with some Indian workers working for an infrastructure and construction company who said they were in danger as their employers had “refused to return their passports”, thus rendering them unable to leave the country.

Official sources here said the Indian mission in Baghdad has already contacted the company concerned and the matter is likely to be resolved soon.

“We have contacted the company concerned. The companies are already responsive. We are already working with them. They will have these people come across. There will be somebody from the embassy who goes there, will sit down with the company and all the employees and decide on this,” they said.