Phagwara: One of the 26 youths stuck in Russia after being cheated by a travel agent died for want of timely medical aid, a friend of the diseased claimed here on Saturday.
Malkiat Singh (30), aka Sonu, died of illness as the company he was working with reportedly did not provide him timely medical aid, his friend alleged. The youth was cremated at Pasla village here on Friday.
His friend Joginderpal of Rurka village, who worked in the same company, brought Sonu's body back to India.
He said Sonu suddenly fell sick and died after some time in Russia. The deceased is survived by an aging father, wife Nirmala, son Arjun (7) and daughter Rohi (6), he said.
Joginderpal alleged that the company did not cooperate or give any financial help for bringing back Sonu's body. "The remaining 25 youths collected Rs 4-5 lakh for it," he claimed.
Joginderpal alleged that he faced difficulties in getting back his passport from the company for bringing back Sonu's body.
"The company threatened me that in case I did not return, all other Indian youths stranded there would not be allowed to return", he alleged, urging the government to rescue other youths stuck.
Joginderpal alleged that an unscrupulous travel agent of nearby Khurampur village, Daljit Singh, had duped the youths of over Rs 34 lakh on the promise of getting them jobs in Russia with hefty salary.
Each youth was made to cough up Rs 1.32 lakh, he said, adding that none of them was given job in the promised company.
The youths had gone to Russia seven months ago. The travel agent was arrested under Sections 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the IPC, and Section 13 of the Punjab Professionals Act, 2014, SSP Satinder Singh said.
He said Daljit Singh was arrested on the complaint of Jarnail Singh, a resident of Mallo Majra village in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district.
The complainant told police that the agent had duped every youth of Rs 1.32 lakh on the pretext of getting them a good job.
The agent was produced in a local court that remanded him in three-day police custody, added the SSP.
Twenty-six youths of Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Kapurthala were stuck in Russia after they were cheated by the travel agent, a resident of Khurampur village near Phagwara.