Are Indians In ISIS Abducting Fellow Indians In Iraq For Labour Work?

Although it cannot be ascertained why the ISIS is moving the nurses and why it has abducted the Indian workers, the reports are rife that they are planning to use them as labourers by insurgent leaders.

The 46 Indian nurses stranded in the Tikrit town of Iraq have hardly slept and so have their families in India. When last heard from them directly, or through the ministry of external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, they were mulling over boarding a bus to Mosul brought to them by some “English speaking” ISIS militants at the hospital they have been staying at past two weeks.

Kerala chief minister Oomen Chandy met minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj on Thursday seeking an effective action to evacuate these nurses. But, by that time, the nurses had boarded the bus giving in to the hands of fate.

Firstpost reported that Akbaruddin confirmed the news of their boarding the bus to Mosul. “All I know is that they are on the road. I do not know what their destinations are,” he told the media.

“Short while ago, the Indian nurses were moved to another location. MEA and the embassy in Iraq has been in regular touch with them. There have been some injuries but they are all safe and unharmed,” Akbaruddin said.

The MEA also said that the nurses agreed to move out of “concern for their safety”. When asked whether the nurses were now hostages of ISIL, Akbaruddin said, “In zones of conflict there is no free will. In a war like situation everything is in a flux.”

It should be noted that another lot of 39 Indian construction workers still lies in captivity of ISIS. Akbaruddin confirmed that they are “unharmed but still in captivity”.

Of the abducted workers, one had escaped and reached the Embassy. Many others in the conflict-ridden zone found one way or the other to safety. The Indian government is constantly in touch with the nurses and the doing all it could to provide them safe passage to the country.

Nearly 900 Indians in non-conflict zones have been given tickets to fly out to India. There are 25 officials in Najaf, Karbala and Basrah including three in Baghdad who are assisting Indians who wish to depart from Iraq.

Although it cannot be ascertained why the ISIS is moving the nurses and why it has abducted the Indian workers, the reports are rife that they are planning to use them as labourers by insurgent leaders.

A report in The Hindu said that the 39 Indian workers are being forced to build defensive fortifications for the militants, amid a shortage of food and water in Mosul. “The men, Kurdish security services believe, are being taken between various locations in the city’s Sunni-dominated quarter, on the west bank of the Tigris River,” the report says.

Incidentally, reports are also surfacing of Indians joining ISIS and its jehad. Last week, ISIS had declared that captured territories were now part of the ‘Caliphate’ and had called for Muslims from across the world to declare jihad and migrate back to the rechristened ‘Islamic State’. Scores of ISIS fighters, who are reportedly Indians, had left their homes to join the group — something the ISIS chief and self-anointed ‘Caliph’ Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi confirmed in a 20 minute audio message.

Hindustan Times had reported: “…on January 22, a Tamil Nadu-born person had left for Syria to fight alongside the Islamic fundamentalists. In 2013, the same person had trained with the Chechen jihadis and had recruited two Chennai college students for Jihad in Syria as well.”

According to The Hindu the person in question is named Haja Fakkurudeen Usman Ali, a Tamil Nadu-born Singapore permanent resident. “Based on information from an informant, Singapore’s intelligence services determined Mr Ali had left Singapore for Syria on January 22, 2014, travelling through Turkey — where several jihadist groups operating inside the violence-torn state are now based,” the report says.

One may remember that the militants had told the nurses that they were the “new administration’ of the hospital they were working in and had also told them that they will pay them for their work.

So, are these Indian minds behind abduction of fellow Indians for creating a labour force in the war-ridden Iraq?

Article Categories:
News Analysis

Don't Miss! random posts ..