Karnataka govt seeks MEA help to rescue 3 young men allegedly forced to fight Russia-Ukraine war

PTI, Feb 22, 2024, 8:35 PM IST

The Karnataka government has written to the External Affairs Ministry for the rescue of three young men from the state, amid reports that they were being forced to fight in Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine, Minister Priyank Kharge said on Thursday.

He urged the Central government to take this matter seriously and come to their rescue immediately.

In what is said to be a ”job fraud”, according to reports, three from Kalaburagi district and one from neighbouring Telangana are stranded on the Russia-Ukraine border, after they were allegedly sent to Russia by their recruiters with a promise that they will be working as army security helpers, but were being forced to fight in Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine against their will.

”After it came to our notice that they have been recruited into the Wagner Group (a private military allegedly funded by the Russian government) for war with Ukraine, our Deputy Commissioner (Kalaburagi) as per protocol has written a letter to the Central government’s External Affairs Ministry representative here in Bengaluru,” Kharge, who is Kalaburagi district in-charge Minister said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said that he has also spoken to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge last night and requested him to bring it to the notice of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, and he has assured that he will speak to the Minister and will also write a letter to him.

”There is information that it (such job fraud) has happened in several places — Telangana, Karnataka, also several places in north India. Whatever it is, taking someone to war by cheating or through fraudulent means (is wrong). The Central government has to take this seriously and should come to their rescue immediately,” he added. Mallikarjun Kharge had been an MP from Kalaburagi (Gulbarga) in the past.

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