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India urges caution, appeals for early discharge of Indians caught in Russia-Ukraine conflict

AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi flagged the issue and urged the Centre to speak with Russian authorities to bring back the Indian youth caught in the war. The youths belonging to Telangana, Karnataka, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh were taken to Russia in December last year.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New Delhi Published on: February 23, 2024 14:15 IST
Indians, Russia Ukraine war, Russian Army, MEA
Image Source : PTI (FILE) The Russia-Ukraine war will complete two years on Saturday.

New Delhi: Amid reports of Indian nationals caught in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and signing up for support jobs with the Russian army, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday urged citizens to exercise maximum caution and stay away from the conflict in Ukraine. The statement came as reports suggested Indians were hired as 'helpers' and forced to fight alongside the Russians against Ukraine.

"We are aware that a few Indian nationals have signed up for support jobs with the Russian army. The Indian Embassy has regularly taken up this matter with the relevant Russian authorities for their early discharge. We urge all Indian nationals to exercise due caution and stay away from this conflict," said MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal in an official statement.

Mohammad Sufiyan, from Hyderabad, is one of the many youths who were allegedly duped by some agents and drafted into fighting for Russia in the ongoing conflict against Ukraine. Sufiyan's family has urged the central government as well as the Ministry of External Affairs to safely evacuate the youths trapped in Russia and also take strict action against the agents.

"My brother was taken by Baba Blocks Company, which has offices in Dubai, Delhi, and Mumbai. The first batch went out on November 12, 2023. A total of 21 youths were sent and Rs 3 lakh was taken from each one of them. They were made to sign an agreement in Russia on November 13," said Sufiyan's brother Imran to news agency ANI.

He said that the agents told the youth that they would get the job as army helpers, but were eventually drafted into the army and were deployed inside the Ukrainian borders. Pointing out that they have not been given any assistance or concrete help, he urged the External Affairs Ministry to help them secure the release of youths trapped there.

Owaisi flags issue, appeals Centre to bring Indians back

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MP Asaduddin Owaisi has also pointed out the issue and urged the Centre to speak with the Russian government and bring back the youths. "The Narendra Modi government should hold talks with the Russian government and bring back the 12 youths trapped in the Russia-Ukraine war," AIMIM posted on X.

In the letter addressed to Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, Owaisi said, "It is learnt that they went to Russia for job purposes. But they were misguided by the Indian agents and were being joined in the Russian Army. They are not able to contact their families. Their families are worried a lot about them". The letter further said, "The youths have also released videos informing how they were left in the battlefield and they were also fired upon."

The youths belonging to Telangana, Karnataka, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh were taken to Russia in December last year, Owaisi said while speaking to reporters in Hyderabad.

"Twelve youths from India were duped by agents and taken to Russia on the promise of jobs. The agents had said they (the unemployed youths) would be offered building security jobs but after cheating them they were taken to the war front on the Russia-Ukraine border," he added. Owaisi said the victims' family members met him and sought help. 

Three agents, one of whom is in Dubai and runs a vlog and two others from Mumbai, cheated the youngsters and sent them to the war front, Owaisi said, adding, "It is a big racket and the agents are exploiting the unemployed youths of the country".

(with inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ | 12 Indian youths duped by agent sent to fight for Russia in war, Owaisi seeks govt's help

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