6 Nepalis manage to get to Delhi

  • narrow escape from kabul
- Devendra Bhattarai, NEW DELHI

Apr 5, 2016-

Six aspiring Nepali migrant workers, who made a narrow escape from what they describe as a hostage-like situation in Afghanistan, have come in contact with the Embassy of Nepal in New Delhi. 

They were illegally taken to Afghanistan via Delhi transit by human traffickers with a promise of lucrative jobs.

After realising that there were only 12 hours left for the expiry of their one-month visa, six of 21 Nepalis escaped from a house where they were held hostage on Thursday midnight, said an escapee. He added that they reached Kabul Airport and boarded a flight to Delhi after their relatives in Nepal bought air tickets for them. At the Nepali Embassy in New Delhi on Monday, the escapees said there were 15 more Nepalis trapped near Kabul Airport and were waiting for their rescue. Counselor Yadav Khanal at the embassy said the Nepalis were illegally taken to Afghanistan by a human trafficking ring.

They had paid up to Rs1 million each to the agents for security guard jobs, it is learnt. “We got duped and are on the verge of losing a huge property,” said one of the escapees, Yadav Guragain, a native of Morang district, “We have come to the embassy to send out the message to our Nepali brothers that they should not lured into getting to Afghanistan for work.”

According to Yadav, the Delhi-based human trafficking agents are hatching a ploy to send an additional 80 Nepalis to Kabul. 

Rudra Pokhrel, who is still entrapped in Kabul, told the Post over phone that they wanted to return home at any cost. “Fifteen of us are in this hostage room and surviving on the money sent by our relatives from Nepal.” Pokhrel, a retired Nepal Police man, added, “It has already been over two months we are confined to this place, and our visas have already expired.”

According to Pokhrel, one of the Nepali agents Shanti Thapa (Mina), who is in Kabul, has gone out of contact for the past one week, while other agents keep telling them over phone that they “need not worry” as their work will be done soon.

An official at the embassy said that Afghanistan-related matters are looked after by Pakistan-based Nepali Embassy and it has been duly notified about the incident. Details on the rescue measures are yet to be discussed, the official said.

The Delhi-based Nepali Embassy has to issue “no-objection letter” in favour of Nepali migrant workers aspiring to go to Afghanistan. Then only, the Afghanistan Embassy in New Delhi will issue visas to the Nepalis. The embassy is preparing to adopt strict measures while issuing “no objection letter”. 

According to Counsellor Khanal, since government has not listed Afghanistan as a foreign employment destination, the embassy is planning to issue “no-objection letter” only for formal programmes and US-based employment opportunities in Afghanistan. 

Published: 05-04-2016 07:50

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