The Indian Embassy in Baghdad is "proactively liaising" with the authorities in Iraq to facilitate the return of about 28 Indins who are subjected to long working hours with poor salaries there after being reportedly duped by unscrupulous travel agents.
"It is understood that in recent months, a few Punjab-based travel agents encouraged some Indian nationals to go to Iraq, supposedly for working in the army camps there.
"However, they were instead employed with a construction company in Najaf and subjected to long working hours with poor salaries. Some 28 of the said Indian nationals have contacted the Indian Embassy in Baghdad requesting help in returning to India," the official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said.
He said the Embassy has since been proactively liaising with the local and the national authorities in Iraq to facilitate their return. The MEA is also in touch with the government of Punjab and the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in the matter, he said.
About 40 youth from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, who were sent to Iraq by unscrupulous travel agents with the promise of jobs, are leading miserable lives and forced to clear battlefields of the war-ravaged country, according to their families.Their distressed family members filed a police complaint in Jalandhar last week, alleging the travel agents promised the youth respectable jobs but they had virtually been made "captive" in the jungles of Iraq and are forced to work as labourers for clearing the battlefields full of wreckage of used missiles, bomb shells and rocket launchers.