Staff Reporter

ALAPPUZHA: The condition of M.K. Ashraf and Francis, two Indian drivers languishing in an Iraqi jail for the last 19 days, has worsened and the jail authorities are not even providing them enough food or water, Abdul Jabbar, brother of Mr. Ashraf and a native of Ambalappuzha in the district, has said.

Mr. Ashraf and Mr. Francis, who work as drivers of Public Warehousing Company (PWC), Kuwait, were arrested by the Iraqi police when they arrived at a Iraq police station seeking help after escaping from Iraqi rebels who abducted them. The police charged them with entering Iraq without proper documents.

Speaking to The Hindu on Wednesday, Mr. Jabbar said that though Union Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed had promised all help to free the Indians, no official from the Indian Embassy had contacted the jail authorities. PWC officials had also failed to take any step to get their employees freed.

Mr. Jabbar said Mr. Ashraf had contacted their elder brother who was now working in Kuwait on the telephone and informed him that the condition in the jail was pathetic. Mr. Jabbar said the jail guards demanded money from the arrested for making calls.

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