M A I N   N E W S

2 Punjab boys go missing in Iraq
Tribune News Service and ANI

New Delhi, July 15
Five Indian nationals are reported missing somewhere in Iraq. The missing include two persons form Punjab and three from Kerala.

The Indians have been missing for over 25 days and are believed to be employees of the Kuwait Gulf and Link company, which undertakes transport operations in Iraq.

According to reports reaching here, the missing Indians were carrying a consignment of chicken form Kuwait to Iraq.

They have been identified as Gurvinder from Gurdaspur district and Sanjeev from Jalandhar, Bal Kumar, Setu and Babulal from Kerala.

KGL was in the headlines last year when seven of its truck drivers were abducted in Iraq last year.

The seven, three Indians, three Kenyans and an Egyptian were lorry drivers were abducted on July 21, 2004.

Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vyalar Ravi today said there was no official confirmation of such reports but the government was in touch with the Indian Embassy in Baghdad. He also pointed out that the government had already banned Indians from going to Iraq.

Varinder Singh writes from Authaula (Jalandhar):
Shocked over the news of kidnapping of her husband and another Punjabi youth by miscreants in Iraq, Sandip Kaur, a resident of this village and her relatives, are a confused lot. They want to know whether Sanjiv Kumar has been kidnapped in Iraq or he has gone missing in Kuwait. Sanjiv Kumar, 32, has been working as a driver in Kuwait.

Though, originally from Bairelly in Uttar Pradesh, Sanjiv had been living with his in-laws in this village till he went to Kuwait about 11 months ago by allegedly paying Rs 95,000 to a travel agent.

“We have not received any call from Sanjiv for the past over two and a half months. This has worried us. But what has shattered us is the repeated telecast on certain news channels that he has been kidnapped in Iraq by miscreants opposed to the allied forces,” said a sobbing Sandip Kaur.

“Earlier also he used to call us once in 10 to 15 days, but this time he has not called up for a long time. We have no source of information to verify the news,” said Daljit Kaur, mother of Sandip Kaur.

Sandip’s relatives said they had no official information about the incident so far.

Lalit Mohan writes from Bhagowal (Gurdaspur):
A truck driver from Bhagowal village, near Batala, Gurvinder Singh Sony, has gone missing in Iraq. He was sent there by a Hoshiarpur-based agent, who was further a sub-agent of a Mumbai-based company.

Inderjeet Kaur, wife of Gurvinder Singh, when contacted at their residence said they had not been able to contact him for the past two months.

“I generally used to talk to him on his mobile phone. However, the phone went untraceable around two months ago,” she said.

The family kept contacting the agents to know about his welfare. Initially, they did not tell anything about his whereabouts but later told them that he had been caught by the customs authorities in Iraq and efforts were on to get him released. “However, 12 days ago the agents informed us that he had gone missing with five other Indians.

“It has come to us as a shock as he was the sole breadwinner,” she lamented.

His father, who was also a truck driver, had also gone missing mysteriously around three years ago during one of his trips.

Gurvinder Singh Sony had been supporting his wife, two minor children, mother and grandmother with the remittance sent from abroad.





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