Kin of Gurdaspur youths stranded in Russia appeal for help : The Tribune India

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Kin of Gurdaspur youths stranded in Russia appeal for help

Gagandeep and Vikram flew to Russia on December 27 last year

Kin of Gurdaspur youths stranded in Russia appeal for help



Tribune News Service

Dinanagar, March 7

The families of two boys of Gurdaspur district, who are stuck in Russia, have appealed to the Ministry of External Affairs to make efforts to bring back their wards to their native villages safely from the war-torn Ukraine.

Kulwant Kaur, mother of Gagandeep Singh of Awankha village of Dinanagar, said her son met a travel agent in November. “He had promised to take him to Moscow where he would be decently employed,” she said.

“We are poor people and belong to a family with small land holdings. Two crops a year barely give us enough money to survive. Despite our poverty, we decided to send Gagandeep to Russia where he would earn good money,” said Kaur.

“The travel agent had assured my son that everything would be done in a legal manner,” she added.

Gagandeep and Vikram, another youth from nearby Jhandechak village, flew to Russia on December 27 last year. “We received a telephone call from Gagan a few days ago. He told us that he was handed over to the Russian army by the police in Belarus. He had gone to Belarus to seek a job but was dumped in the middle of the road by the taxi owner after he failed to meet his monetary demands,” said Kulwant Kaur.

“The Russians told him he would be jailed for 10 years because he was caught travelling without a visa. They also told him that nothing would happen to him if he joined the army. Later, he underwent a 15-day training stint following which he was sent to fight the war against Ukraine as a foot soldier. I urge the Ministry of External Affairs to locate my son and bring him back to India. We had taken a loan to pay Rs 11 lakh as demanded by the travel agent. We are unable to pay back the loan because we have no money. We were banking on Gagan to send us money,” said Kulwant Kaur.

Likewise, the family of Vikram also narrated their tale of woes. His story was similar to that of Gagandeep because both the boys went to Russia together.

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