Rajat Sharma


AKB30 I would like to sound a note of caution to all parents whose sons and daughters are seeking a job abroad in their quest for a better life. A new trend has emerged in which social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and X are being used where scamsters offer attractive jobs abroad and arrange student visas to send our youths promising them lakhs of rupees as monthly wages. My advice to all: do not fall in such traps, otherwise our youths may not only lose money but may also lose their lives. Already, youths from Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu fell in the traps and landed in Russia, where they were forcibly sent to work in private armies as mercenaries on the Ukraine war front. India has nothing to do with either Russia or Ukraine in this war, but already two Indian youths have lost their lives. CBI on Friday conducted raids against 17 firms across the country. It booked a Delhi-based visa consultancy firm for sending nearly 180 youths to Russia in the last few months. CBI is trying to locate the whereabouts of these youths, most of whom had gone to Russia on student visas. CBI is also probing the role of two Russia-based agents who seized the passports of Indian youths soon after arrival in Russia and forcibly sent them for combat training. The CBI FIR lists 19 suspects, including the companies and their directors, and some agents. A Delhi-based firm RAS Overseas Foundation and its director Suyash Mukut, another firm Baba Vlogs Oversears Recruitment Solutions, Dubai, and its director Faisal Abdul Mutalib Khan alias Baba have been named in the FIR. Others include OSD Brothers Travels and Visa Services, Mumbai and its director Rakesh Pandey, and Adventure Visa Services, Chandigarh and Ambala. At least 17 such placement agencies have been identified across India by CBI. Not less than 35 Indian youths are presently deployed on the war front and it seems to be a difficult task for Indian government to trace them and bring them back to the country safely. Since the Russian government is not directly involved in the recruitment of these youths, it is difficult for Indian authorities to ensure their safe return. One positive outcome has been that the Russian authorities have started removing Indians from the war front and they are being sent to safe zones.. Private agents working for human trafficking agencies handed them over to private Russian mercenary groups . The task of identifying the exact locations of Indian youths is a time-consuming one. In my prime time show ‘Aaj Ki Baat’ on Friday night, telecast on India TV, we showed parents of these Indian youths narrating their tales of woes. We also showed videos of Indian youths forced to fight the Ukraine war. Seven youths trapped inside Russia sent these videos. Most of them hail from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, and this human trafficking racket has already spread to Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In November last year, these youths, one from Hyderabad and three from Kalaburgi, Karnataka, watched a video blog Babavlogs posted by a Dubai-based vlogger Faisal Abdul Mutalib Khan, claiming to be in St. Petersburg and luring Indian youths to join the Russia army. All four of them paid Rs 3 lakhs each to the travel agency and landed in Russia. Abdul Naeem of Kalaburgi, who earlier used to work in Dubai, said, he was promised Rs one lakh salary a month, a Russian passport and Russian citizenship for his entire family by the scamsters. In Russia, they were forced to sign contracts drafted in Russian language, ttheir passports were confiscated by the Russian manpower agencies and packed off to the Ukraine warfront. In India, the human trafficking network trapped jobless youths by promising jobs for the posts of delivery boy, helper, data operator, etc. in Russia. Already, two Indian youths have died on the Ukraine warfront. Muhammad Afshan of Hyderabad had gone to Russia in November last year with three friends from Karnataka. He remained incommunicado with his family for 45 days, and in January, somebody told his family that Afshan is lying injured in a hospital. The family sought AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s help, who contacted External Affairs Ministry. Last week, news came in that Afshan was no more. His brother Imran is waiting to go to Russia to bring his body back home. Another Indian youth, Hemil Mangukia of Surat, died in a Ukrainian drone attack on February 21 at the war front. Three of his Indian colleagues sent his body in a truck from the war front, but there is no information about the location of his body. Hemil’s father said, his son spoke to him for the last time on February 20 and the next day, he was killed in the drone attack. I would again like to caution parents to make proper background check when their children apply for foreign jobs. They can contact the embassies of those countries in India for a fact check. Do not trust job or travel agencies who promise to send your sons on student or tourist visas for getting a nice job. Do not trust reels posted on social media by vloggers or travel agencies promising attractive jobs abroad. I would request the Indian government to launch a portal or app, so that our youth can verify job offers before falling into anybody’s trap.

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