Chandigarh, Apr 12 (PTI) Punjab AAP leader Harjot Singh Bains today sought External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s intervention to rescue 31 Indians stuck in Saudi Arabia and the UAE after being lured there by unscrupulous travel agents.
Of the 31 Indians, 27 are from Punjab and the rest from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, Bains said.
The reports about Indians being stuck in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates come nearly two weeks after the government brought back the bodies of 38 Indians killed by Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq. One body was not brought back as DNA testing had provided only 70 per cent matching.
They were abducted in 2014 and killed about an year ago.
Aam Aadmi Party’s chief spokesperson Bains and another party leader Jai Kishan Singh said they have forwarded the details of the Indians stuck in the Gulf countries to the External Affairs Ministry.
“Two days ago, we went to the office of the External Affairs Minister in Delhi. We have handed over the list of all the 31 persons, including 27 Punjabis, who are stuck in the two countries after having been lured there by unscrupulous travel agents. The list contains details like names of the persons, their contact details, passport number, places of their residence etc,” Bains said.
A youth from Bholath town in Kapurthala district is among the 31 Indians. He has been missing for six months, he said.
He said he has urged Swaraj to intervene in the matter.
The AAP leader said a few of those stuck in the two countries had sent videos showing the difficult situation they were in. “They are living in a pathetic condition and forced to even go without food,” Bains said.
“All the men were promised well-paying jobs and long work visa, but they were duped. They are now being treated as slaves by their employers who have taken their passports also,” he added.
The Punjab Police has registered 900 cases under the Emigration Act 1983, Punjab Travel Professional Regulation Act, 2013, and of cheating under the Indian Penal Code against fraudulent travel agents during the last fiscal.
The police said it has been organising regular campaigns to educate people about legal and safe emigration.
Upon his return with the bodies of Indians from Iraq on April 2, Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh had said there was no record of any of the 38 Indians in any embassy as they had gone to the war-torn country with help from illegal travel agents.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.