With details about the abduction of 40 Indians in Iraq sketchy, a pal of gloom has descended on a home here, with Swaran Dass Choudhary, an ex-serviceman, trying in vein to contact his son, Rajesh Kumar, who had been working as a mechanical engineer at Basra.
Rajesh, 34, is the second among three sons of Swaran Dass and he had left India to work with a private construction company, Sopranjli, in Iraq on September 25, 2012, leaving at home his wife Reena and his son Vibam, who was only eight months old at that time. The family was already waiting for him as he was scheduled to return home to attend his cousin’s marriage.
“The last time he called us from Basra was 10 days ago, saying that he was coming home soon as the situation in Iraq was bad. He had also asked the HR department of his company to return his passport and arrange a ticket for him to India,” said the 70-year-old ex-serviceman.
“Next day, when we rang up, his mobile was switched off,” he said, adding that they had been trying to contact him in vein since then. “Until last night, when we heard the news about abduction of 40 Indians in Iraq, we were under the impression that the phone call to Rajesh was not getting through as the mobile network may have been switched off by the local administration in view of the worsening situation there,” he added.
After hearing about the abductions, Reena is inconsolable. With Vibham sitting in her lap, she recalls that she had tried to stop Rajesh from going to Iraq as the situation there was not good. However, he insisted on going there as he wanted to earn money so as to get his son admitted in some good school in Jammu, she added.
Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Shantmanu, said that he had sought details about Rajesh from his elder brother Raj Kumar so that he could inform the state government as also the Central government, which is already in touch with Iraq over the matter.