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Workers recall traumatic time in Iraq

With fear still writ large on their faces, the 78 workers from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, landed here at the Shamshabad airport on Saturday afternoon after they were evacuated from war torn Iraq. The returnees, who were mostly, living in closed compounds, recalled the firing near the places they worked which led to them to send an SOS to the Indian Embassy.

M. Ramasamy from Medak district in Telangana, claimed that gunfights took place near the company where he worked. “After that, the Indian Embassy evacuated us and shifted us to the Erbil airport, where we stayed for 20 days, till we boarded a flight back,” he recalled.

The workers narrated harrowing experiences at the hands of their employers. Most claimed to have been duped by agents to whom they had paid huge amounts to get jobs in Iraq.. G. V. S. R. K. Raju, from West Godavari district (AP), had gone to Kirkuk nine months ago, believing that he would earn Rs.40,000 per month. “However, my pay was much lower than promised,” he said.

Of the evacuated workers, 40 were from Telangana districts of Karimnagar, nine from Adilabad, two from Nizamabad and one from Medak. The AI flight AI 160 first landed at Mumbai, then Kochi and Hyderabad before flying to New Delhi.

Air India officials informed that the Ministry of External Affairs had asked them to keep a plane on standby a few days ago for the evacuation

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 11:09:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/workers-recall-traumatic-time-in-iraq/article6181639.ece

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