M A I N   N E W S

Firms hiring ex-armymen for Iraq to be prosecuted

New Delhi, May 6
Taking a serious view of reports of placement agencies recruiting ex-servicemen for security duty in Iraq, the government said today that it would prosecute firms indulging in this illegal activity.

Action will be initiated against agencies found violating the Emigration Act, Protector-General of Emigrants D. S. Poonia said.

He was asked whether action would be taken against private security agencies, which had recruited former army personnel, ostensibly for jobs in Kuwait and Jordan, who finally found themselves in the war-ravaged country working in camps for soldiers of the US-led coalition.

“Further interrogations are underway to find out how many people they have sent or whether they have sent anybody,” he said, adding that after the investigations FIRs would be filed against the company.

To another question, Mr Poonia said if these recruited people went to neighbouring countries like Kuwait and Jordan through the porous border “there will be no way for us to regulate that”.

The Indian Government has already ordered a probe following reports that over 1,500 ex-servicemen had been transhipped to Iraq despite a ban on sending people there.

The government had banned sending people to Iraq from April 15 as the security deteriorated in that country and the ban would be lifted only after the security situation improved according to External Affairs Ministry sources.

However, Defence Minister George Fernandes said on Monday that the government could not stop former soldiers from seeking lucrative assignments abroad. — PTI


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