Chandigarh, June 13, 2019: Union food processing industries minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today disclosed that External Affairs minister Dr Jaishankar had directed the Indian Embassy in Iraq to take immediate steps to ensure the quick return of seven Punjabi youth stranded in Irbil city since seven months.
Mrs Badal met the External Affairs minister along with family members of the seven youth who belong to Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts. She disclosed that the country’s Consul General in Iraq Chandramouli K Kern was also part of the meeting and briefed the parents as well as Mrs Badal about the steps taken by the Consulate to ensure the well being of the youth. The Consul General disclosed that the Embassy staff were in touch with the youth and were extending all needed help to them, including financial assistance. Mr Kern said more financial assistance would be extended as and when required. He also disclosed that since the youth had filed a complaint with regard to being duped a legal case had been initiated.
After listening to the briefing Dr Jaishankar said the Indian Consulate would take all needed steps to complete legal formalities needed to ensure the return of the youth to their homeland. Mrs Badal informed the External Affairs minister that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) would pay for the tickets to bring the youth back to their homeland. The relatives of the seven youth expressed satisfaction at the steps taken by the Emabassy staff and said they were now looking forward to the swift return of their wards to India.
Giving a brief about the case, Mrs Badal said the seven youth had been duped by travel agents who had promised them jobs in Iraq. She said the agents had taken money to provide the necessary work papers but did not provide any documents to them to make them eligible to work in Iraq. She said the youth had appealed to the State as well as the central government to repatriate them as well as demanded action against the travel agents who had left them in the lurch without any identity cards.
Phillaur legislator Baldev Khaira and YAD secretary general Sarabjot Singh Saabi and family members of the seven youth were present during the meeting with the External Affairs Minister.