2 Men From Kashmir Cheated By Job Agent Forced To Fight Russia’s War

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2 Men From Kashmir Cheated By Job Agent Forced To Fight Russia's War

Centre acknowledged that some Indians are stuck in Russia’s ongoing war. (Representational)

Srinagar:

A distraught family in Kashmir is waiting for the return of their son, who was tricked into fighting Russia’s war against Ukraine. A job agent lured Azad Yousf Kumar and he ended up on the Ukraine border. The family said the 31-year-old was forced to fight the war and appealed to the government to intervene and help get their son back.

“We request the government of India for his safe return and to reach back his home safely. All Indian children should return safely,” Asad Yousf’s cousin said.

A skilled labourer in digging tube wells, Kumar is a resident of Poshwan in the Pulwama district. He is among the two Kashmiris who were duped into fighting for Russia in December last year. Days after getting “enlisted” in the Russian military, he suffered a gunshot wound in his foot.

The family said he came across a YouTube channel run by – “Baba Vlogs” from Mumbai, who advertised job opportunities as helpers in Russia. After his “selection ” Kumar travelled to Dubai on December 14. As he reached Russia he was quickly enlisted in the Russian army and sent to Ukraine’s frontlines.

“He reached Russia to work as a kitchen helper, but they set him to the frontline. We have heard that he has received a gunshot wound. We request the External Affairs Ministry to ensure his return. The whole family is crying and the entire village is in shock,” Basharat Ahmed said.

Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh, another Kashmiri man, who was duped by an agent to fight the war, is a resident of snowbound Karnah near the Line of Control.

Similar Cases In Other States

At least ten young men from various parts of India are forced to fight a war for Russia against Ukraine. They were sent to the country on the pretext of jobs but found themselves stuck on the battlefield. Not only were the men duped in terms of the job that they were signing up for, but the agent who sent them to Russia also managed to extract Rs 3 lakh from each of them. 

Their families have appealed to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to help them return to India. A similar appeal was made by AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi and a Karnataka minister has said the state government will talk to the MEA about getting the men back. It is believed that they are fighting Ukraine as part of the mercenary organisation – Wagner Group. 

A family from Kasganj in Uttar Pradesh is also undergoing a similar ordeal after being cheated by the same agent. A young man was taken to Russia and promised a job as a labourer, but ended up fighting the Ukrainian army for over two months. He has finally managed to contact his family from a hospital after he was injured in the fighting. 

‘Baba Vlogs’ – The “Job Agent”

The UP man’s father said an agent, Faisal Khan, who runs a YouTube channel called ‘Baba Vlogs’, cheated people by promising them high-paying jobs in Russia. After the man was offered a job as a helper, the family took a loan to pay a sum of Rs 3 lakh that was demanded by the agent.

The YouTuber, with over 300,000 subscribers, posts videos on how to get job offers in different countries and how he assists people in receiving work permits.

AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi said, “Faisal Khan, who is in Dubai, along with Sufiyaan and Poja from Mumbai, cheated the men.” Faisal Khan, Sufiyan and Poja know each other. Mr Khan has mentioned the contact details of the duo in the description of his YouTube videos.

‘We Are Aware’

The Centre acknowledged that some Indians are stuck in Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine, stating that the government is coordinating with its Russian counterpart to facilitate their release.

“We are aware that a few Indian nationals have signed up for support jobs with the Russian army. The Indian Embassy has regularly taken up this matter with the relevant Russian authorities for their early discharge. We urge all Indian nationals to exercise due caution and stay away from this conflict,” said Randhir Jaiswal, External Affairs spokesperson, in a statement.

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