Help stranded Keralites return to India: Chandy to Sushma

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 19 (IANS) Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has urged External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to help eight Keralites stranded in two African countries return home at the earliest.

Speaking to IANS, Chandy said he has written to Swaraj seeking her intervention to see the matter is taken up at the diplomatic level.

Four men are presently in jail in Togo while four nurses are in Congo who wish to return back to India.

Chandy who arrives in Delhi on Saturday (today) is likely to call on Swaraj regarding the two cases, his office said.

The four Keralites in Togo are in jail since July 2013. They reached the African country in June 2013 after being offered a new job in a shipping company by a Keralite.

Nileena Nithin, wife of Nithin Babu who is currently in jail in Togo told IANS that things are bad and every month the families of the four are sending money to them to meet their expenses.

“They were made to sign some papers and it is after that they were sent to jail. We have established contact with a lady there who is doing her best to help them,” said the wife of Babu.

“We have taken up the issue to the chief minister and he has assured to help at the diplomatic level,” she said.

Babu’s brother Arun Babu along with two others, Godwin and Shaji, is also in the jail in Togo.

The nurses who are in Congo arrived there a few months back after being hired by a hospital there, the office of Chandy told IANS.

“They reached Congo on a visit visa and they ran into trouble after they expressed their desire to return back to India,” said the office.

They have to pay a hefty fine for their overstay in Congo. This issue has been taken up with the Indian Embassy in Congo, the office said.

The chief minister who is visiting Delhi on Saturday is planning to take up these two cases in a meeting with Swaraj, said the office of Chandy.

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