Protest demanding the release of 7 Indians abducted in Afghanistan reaches Delhi

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Delhi/Ranchi:  Hundreds of people belonging to CPI-ML and student unions like AISA, INS and AICCTU led by former Bagoder MLA Vinod Singh demonstrated in front of the Ministry of External Affairs’ office in New Delhi. The protestors were demanding the release of the seven Indians abducted exactly a month back in Afghanistan.

They all are employees of KEC International company and were abducted by the unknown gunmen from an under constructed power station site in Baghlan, Afghanistan. Among those abducted, four workers are from Jharkhand, of which, three hails from Giridih district. Ironically, only one (Prasadi Mahto)’s family was informed by KEC officials about the abduction. Neither MEA gave any statement about those abducted, nor any major step taken by the ministry, other than the tweet mentioning they are serious.

“We, along with the family members of those abducted, met the Deputy Commissioner (Manoj Kumar) of Giridih before reaching Delhi. He maintained that no further information had been communicated to them regarding the 7 Indians abducted in Afghanistan. Earlier, we had gone to Raj Bhavan, Jharkhand to meet the Governor of Jharkhand (Droupadi Murmu), but there also we did not get any response,” said Vinod Singh, former MLA of Bagoder.

Indians Afghanistan Vinod Singh CPIML
Vinod Singh addresses on the issue before MEA office

He added, “And soon after the news broke out, I had met Jharkhand’s Chief Minister Raghubar Das and had requested him to send a delegation to Afghanistan to prepare a report after closely monitoring the case. Das had maintained that he had already had a word with Sushma Swaraj (Minister of External Affairs) and that she is serious on the issue. But, it has been a month and the government is yet to take any concrete step. They have done nothing more than a solo tweet about the case. The condition of the families of those abducted is going worse with every passing day. They are living in constant fear, praying for the safety of their loved ones.”

In a similar case, way back in 2014, 39 Indians had been abducted in Iraq, and for almost four years, Government of India (GoI) had been telling the families of those abducted that they were fine. However, in March, Sushma Swaraj, declared them to be killed by the ISIS terrorists before the parliament.

The CPI-ML leader also said that there is an immediate need of making a policy for the migrant workers, as from Jharkhand large number of worker migrate for work in the Middle East,.

A good number of students from Jawahar Lal Nehru (JNU) and Delhi University (DU), including President of JNUSU Geeta Kumari, DU student leader Kawalpreet Kaur and Inquilab Naujwan Sabha (INS)’s Sandeep Jaisawal were present during the demonstration. Some relatives of the abducted workers also took part in the protest at national capital.

With Sushma Swaraj being out of the country, the joint secretary of MEA met the protestors and has assured them that a delegation can meet the minister as soon as she returns.

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