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Friday, February 28, 2020

Telugu migrant labourers stranded without work permit in Iraq to return home

Explaining the fate of those migrants who were without work permit, Telugu Gulf Employees Welfare Association president Alagonda Dakshina Murthy, who works in Erbil, said his association had approached the MoS for MEA V Muraleedharan during his visit to Iraq in November 2019.

Written by Rahul V Pisharody | Hyderabad | Updated: February 15, 2020 11:32:40 am
In a video taken just before starting from Erbil, shared on Twitter, the workers thanked minister KT Rama Rao for his efforts to bring them back home.

A total of 15 migrant labourers from Telangana who were stranded in Erbil city of Kurdistan in Iraq following the non-renewal of ‘Akama’ (official work permit) for several months, will reach back Hyderabad early Saturday morning.

They were allegedly cheated by fake travel agents who had sent them to Iraq on a visit visa. These labourers, upon the non-availability of Akama, had requested amnesty and appealed to the Indian Embassy in Baghdad and the Consulate General of India (CGI) in Erbil to send them back.

In November 2019, the Telangana government had written to the CGI of India in Erbil and the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs to repatriate all of them at the earliest.

They had started from Erbil at 5.20 pm on Thursday and would reach Hyderabad by early morning Saturday.

In a video taken just before starting from Erbil, shared on Twitter, they thanked minister KT Rama Rao for his efforts to bring them back home.

Speaking to indianexpress.com over the phone from the waiting room in Dubai airport, Dururi Gopal of Adilabad, said “we had no work or place to stay as we dint have Akama. We could manage some petty works now and then, but were unable to return home. We are very happy to be back.”

Explaining the fate of those migrants who were without Akama, Telugu Gulf Employees Welfare Association president Alagonda Dakshina Murthy, who works in Erbil, said his association had approached the MoS for MEA V Muraleedharan during his visit to Iraq in November 2019.

“These people did not have Akama for the last three to five years. And if they had to return home, they had to pay USD 500 per month which they obviously could not pay. We are very thankful to the government of Telangana for taking up the matter, without which this would not have been possible,” Murthy told indianexpress.com over the phone.

According to Murthy, 40 to 50 more Telugus are stranded in Erbil without Akama and need to be rescued. “They are all working without attracting anyone’s attention. Police could catch them. They have no support from anyone and make a living doing odd jobs.”

A statement from the state government on Friday said it had coordinated with the Embassy and Indian Foreign Ministry officials in providing airline tickets to those trapped in Iraq and arranged for extradition to Telangana.

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