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Gulf dream lands Indian in Iraq jail

Aug 01, 2006 09:57 PM IST India India

New Delhi: The sole breadwinner of a family in Kerala has been detained in the Iraqi prison for the last two months.

40-year-old Nawas of Valiyakathu in Chavakkad in Thrissur have been working in Kuwait as a truck driver. The last time he came home was in February 2005.

The Iraqi police arrested Nawas two months back when he was delivering cargo for US troops at the Iraqi border.

Since then there has been no news from him. His family came to know about his arrest and disappearance from a friend just last week.

Nawas’ wife says, “Usually he calls when proceeding trip and on coming back. This time the telephone call didn't come even after two months."

"Usually his call come at intervals. This time he is delaying it," says Nawas’ mother.

The ministry of external affairs says it is doing all it can to secure his release, after Nawas' brother Firkaluddin brought the issue to its notice.

Firkaluddin says, “It is heard that he has been detained in prison as relevant papers were not in his hands. It is also said that he had taken the wrong route to Iraq."

There are 35 lakh Indians working in the Middle East of them 18 lakh are from Kerala. As job opportunities dry up in other Middle Eastern countries, many Indians are ending up in Iraq chasing the Gulf dream. Nawas' disappearance highlights the dangers they are willing to face – just to earn a living.

With Kundur Sathya Narayan in Thrissur and Navin Nair in Thiruvananthapuram