‘Kashmiri duo on Ukraine border desperate to return home’

Srinagar, Feb 26: Two individuals, who set out on a journey in search of employment, got themselves trapped in a fraudulent offer and found themselves near the Ukraine border, facing a situation that has left them desperate to return to the familiarity of their homes.

The duo, identified as Azad Yousuf Kumar from Poshwan village in south Kashmir’s Awantipora area in Pulwama district and Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh of Tangdar area of Kupwara got lured to fraud recruitment through a YouTuber who runs a Vlog operated in Dubai.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Sajad Kumar said that his brother Azad Kumar got trapped in a fraud recruitment offer which he saw on a Youtube channel by a vlogger.

“It was the job of a helper and my brother got in touch with the vlogger and landed in Mumbai where the vlogger has his two agents – one male and another female,” Kumar told Greater Kashmir.

He said his brother was provided tickets from Mumbai to Chennai and later to Sharjah and Dubai. “My brother stayed in Dubai for some days till his visa arrived. But we had no information about him from the day he left from Dubai,” Kumar said.

He said that his brother was made to sign an agreement in Dubai and told that he would be provided a job in Russia.

“The vlogger has two male agents in Russia who lure people for jobs. My brother, who was assured of a job in Russia, landed up at the Ukraine border,” Kumar said.

He said that they received a message from an unknown number wherein his brother informed the family that he had landed at the Ukraine border with the Russian Army and wanted to return home.

“He had used someone’s mobile and sent a message to us. My brother was hit with a bullet in the foot and was hospitalised. He called us and was crying. He wants to return home,” Kumar said.

Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh of Hajinar Tangdar area of Kupwara has gone missing in Russia, causing concern among his family.

Sheikh was employed as a private employee in Chandigarh, travelled to Russia in December 2023 with two companions and went missing.

The Jammu and Kashmir Students Association (JKSA) took up the matter with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha for their intervention to repatriate the Kashmiri duo trapped in Russia.

The national convenor of the JKSA Nasir Khuehami said that Kumar and several others have been ensnared in a fraudulent recruitment scheme, wherein they were deceived into travelling to Russia under false promises of job opportunities in cooking and cleaning.

“Azad’s family is distraught by this deception and is fervently pleading for his safe return. He has sustained injuries and is currently stranded on the border. The family has provided documentation of the signed agreement in Russian, Azad’s current location, his photograph, and his IMO number, which he has been using to contact them intermittently,” the JKSA communication addressed to MEA reads.

Following this, the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India (GoI) said that every such case was brought to the attention of the Indian Embassy in Moscow and has been strongly taken up with the Russian authorities.

“Those brought to the attention of the ministry have been taken up with the Russian embassy in New Delhi. Several Indians have already been discharged. We remain committed, as a matter of top priority, to actively pursuing with the Russian authorities all the relevant cases of Indian nationals for an early discharge from the Russian army,” reads an official notification issued by the MEA.

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