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CBI records statement of Kashmiri family allegedly forced into Russia-Ukraine war


Srinagar, March 31

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday recorded the statement of the Kashmiri family whose member was allegedly forced into the Russia-Ukraine war.

“We have recorded the statements of the family members of Azad Yousuf Kumar, a local who was allegedly unwittingly thrust into the Russia-Ukraine conflict after being deceived,” CBI in a statement said.

The agency recorded their statements recently after filing an FIR against 19 people and visa consultancy firms linked to the exploitation of the Indian youth.

Azad’s elder, Sajad said the families of 12 other affected Indian men have been contacted by the CBI and they emphasised their desire for the safe return of their loved ones.

It must be mentioned that the CBI had on March 8 dismantled a human trafficking network funnelling Indian individuals into the war zone and identified key facilitators, including agents based in Russia.

Family said that Azad, a 31-year-old engineering graduate from Pulwama, initially sought job opportunities in Dubai, but was misled by false promises, ultimately finding himself caught up in the war as a mercenary for the Russian army.

The family also spoke of the perilous situation at the Ukraine border and said that they had asked the government to intervene for his safe return.

As per the family, Azad left for Dubai on December 14 last year in search of a job after being lured by a YouTuber, Faisal Khan. But little did the young man know that he would be fighting a war.

“He was promised a job in Dubai by the YouTuber. However, he ended up being a mercenary for the Russian army,” the family said, urging that the Central government to step in and rescue him from the war he never desired to fight.

“He is right now at the Ukraine border. We spoke to him a few days ago and he told us that his life is in danger.

“He was forcibly told to sign a contract which was in Russian language and that’s how he landed up at the Russia-Ukraine border. Then he was sent to the frontline with other Indians.

“Azad manages to call the family during the evening time for two to three minutes.

“They are constructing bunkers in the forests right now. They have moved further from the Black Sea. They occupy the areas and then make bunkers there.

“Azad was given a 15-day-long military training during which he was hit by a bullet and needed to be hospitalised for two weeks.

“He has a two-and-a-half-month-old son whom he has not even seen so far,” the family said.

The CBI’s investigation exposed a web of deceit where individuals were trafficked under false promises manipulated into combat roles and left stranded without recourse.

CBI has emphasised the grave risks faced by these individuals, forcibly thrust into the conflict zone against their will.

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