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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 22/06/2014
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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Majority of the indians stuck in iraq are nurses from kerala googletag.

the gag order slapped by indian authorities on the people from the country trapped in the war ravaged iraq has evoked strong protests from non-resident keralites (nrk) organisations in kerala.

majority of the indians stuck in iraq are nurses from the state. the nurses stranded at a hospital at war-torn tikrit had told the khaleej times that the emissary deputed by the narendra modi government to secure their release had restrained them from talking to the media.

the emigrant wings of both the ruling and the opposition fronts believe that the newly installed modi government may have resorted to this ‘undemocratic’ step because they do not want the outside world to know their inept handling of the sensitive situation.

“the war between government forces and rebels in iraq is not an overnight development. the hostilities between the two have been continuing. a vigilant government could have anticipated it would flare up and endanger the lives of our people” says k v abdul khader general secretary of the kerala pravasi sangh the nrk wing of the opposition communist party of india- marxist (cpm).

khader who is also a member of the state legislative assembly told khaleej times that the government could have easily evacuated the 46 nurses hauled up at tikrit like most other countries have done if it acted with alacrity. the external affairs ministry was too slow in responding to the situation he added.

he doesn’t think that insulating the nurses from the media would help. khader pointed out that the authorities and the voluntary agencies like the red cross had turned their attention towards the nurses at tikrit after they revealed their plight to the world media.

khader has urged the federal governmet to seek international assistance to secure the release of the indians. “the situation is dangerous. anything can happen to the besieged people. the government should explore all options” he added.

pravasi sangh president p t kunju mohammed views this as an indication of the modi government’s ‘negative’ approach towards the expatriates. the abolition of the separate ministry for overseas indian affairs by the prime minister was a clear indication of things to come. he said kerala which has more than two million people working abroad is concerned about the lack of a separate ministry to deal with their problems.

non-resident keralites’ affairs (norka) minister k. c. joseph said that the situation in iraq could have been handled better if there was a separate ministry for expatriatess. whe pointed out that the congress-led united progressive alliance (upa) government had formed a separate ministry for overseas indian affairs as the issues concerning the expats were not getting attention of the external affairs ministry because of its preoccupations.

the kerala pravasi league affiliated to the indian union muslim league the second largest constituent of kerala’s ruling united democratic front is also of the opinion that the handling of the situation by external affairs minister sushama swaraj was not proper.

organisation general secretary haneefa muniyoor pointed out that the kerala government had brought the grave situation in iraq to the minister’s notice but she failed to respond to them promptly. the minister may be new but the machinery which handled similar situation in kuwait and earlier in iraq successfully was there.

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