‘Agent says he is alive’: Family of Hyderabad man who allegedly died in Russian war

While the Indian Embassy in Russia informed the family that Mohammed Asfan was killed in the Russia-Ukraine war, the agents who recruited him say that he is still alive.
‘Agent says he is alive’: Family of Hyderabad man who allegedly died in Russian war
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On Wednesday, March 6, Mohammed Imran received a message from the Indian Embassy in Moscow that his brother, Mohammed Asfan, was killed while fighting for the Russian army in the war against Ukraine. 30-year-old Asfan, who was working in a readymade garment shop in Hyderabad, was duped by an agent in Dubai, who promised him a job in Russia. But like several other young Indians, Asfan was cheated and was forced to fight alongside the Russian army in the ongoing war.

Speaking to TNM, Asfan’s brother Imran, however says that he is in a dilemma about whether to believe the news of his brother’s death. “I asked them (Indian Embassy officials) how they knew about my brother’s death. They said they got a call from some Russian authorities. But when I asked them if they had any documentation like post mortem report, death certificate etc, they said no, we just got a call.”

Imran said that he has been in touch with the agents who recruited his brother. According to the agents, the news of Asfan’s death could be false. The agenst also claimed that they had identified his location and were trying to retrieve him. 

“So now we are unsure as to whom to believe. But we are hoping he is alive” said Imran. 

Asfan 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, who later appealed to PM Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to bring back 12 Indians who were forced to fight Ukraine alongside the Russian Army. 

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.

Imran says, “Although we don’t believe the news of his death, 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.”

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