Indian national from Hyderabad duped into fighting for Russia killed

Asfan, who was working in a readymade garment shop in Hyderabad, was duped by a job agent based in Dubai.
Mohammed Asfan
Mohammed Asfan
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A 30-year-old Indian national from Telangana’s Hyderabad, who was forced into joining the Russian Army and fight against Ukraine, has been killed in Moscow. The Indian Embassy in Moscow on Wednesday confirmed the death of Mohammed Asfan. Several Indians remain trapped in Russia-Ukraine war zones and have sought the Indian government's intervention to help them return home.

"We have learnt about the tragic death of an Indian national Shri Mohammed Asfan. We are in touch with the family and Russian authorities. Mission will make efforts to send his mortal remains to India," the embassy said in a post on ‘X’.

Asfan, who was working in a readymade garment shop in Hyderabad, was duped by a job agent based in Dubai. He, and two others, went to Moscow via Sharjah in November 2023. When Afsan’s family were not able to contact him, they lodged a complaint with the Hyderabad police and met Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi.

Owaisi, on February 21, appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to bring back 12 Indians who were forced to fight Ukraine alongside the Russian Army. He said the unemployed youth were promised jobs as security staff at buildings but were cheated and taken to the warfront. The agents reportedly promised them Rs 30,000 per month initially and Rs 1.5 lakh later. Owaisi added that three agents had cheated unemployed youth by sending them to Russia to fight against Ukraine.

The 12 Indians stranded in the war zone included two youths from Telangana, three from Karnataka, two from Kashmir and one each from Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. Hamil Mangukiya, 23, from Gujarat was killed in an airstrike on February 21 in the Donetsk region on the Russia-Ukraine border.

“Asfan went to Russia on November 9, 2023. The agents of ‘Baba Vlogs’ are responsible for his death. Although we don’t believe the news, if unfortunately, something as such has happened, we request the government to arrange for the return of his body so that we can perform his last rites,” Afsan’s brother Imran said.

TNM had earlier reported how a YouTuber’s recruitment videos trapped many Indian men in the Russian warzone. Most victims of the scam reached Russia with the help of an agent named Faizal Khan, who operates the YouTube channel Baba Vlogs. The families of the victims accuse him of deceiving them with the offer of security/helper jobs in Russia.

Also read: How YouTuber’s recruitment videos trapped many Indian men in Russian warzone

(With inputs from IANS)

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