Two Kashmiris Hired By Fraudulent Recruitment Companies Forced To Fight For Russia Against Ukraine

SRINAGAR: In the serene village of Poshwan, nestled in South Kashmir’s Awantipora area, grief hangs heavy as the news of Azad Yousuf Kumar’s injury in the Russia-Ukraine conflict reaches his family. Azad, a 31-year-old father of a three-year-old son, was reportedly coerced into the battlefield, allegedly under pretences orchestrated by a Dubai-based consultant operating under the guise of a YouTube channel named “Baba Vlogs.”

Deception And Coercion: The Story Of Azad Yousuf Kumar

Mohammad Yousuf Kumar, Azad’s father, and his wife, express profound sorrow and accuse the consultant, Faisal Khan, of duping their son into a fraudulent job recruitment scheme. Initially promised a job opportunity in the Middle East, Azad found himself unexpectedly deployed as a mercenary for the Russian army in Ukraine, a stark contrast to the benign employment he was led to believe in.

Forced Recruitment And Tragic Consequences

The family asserts that Azad sustained a gunshot wound to his leg amidst the conflict, further amplifying their anguish. Concerns escalate in the entire village for Azad’s safety, prompting calls for a thorough government investigation into the deceptive recruitment tactics responsible for ensnaring Azad in Russia and thrusting him into military service against his will.

Trail Of Deception: From The Middle East To Russia

Azad’s journey from Kashmir to the battlegrounds of Ukraine reflects a trail of deceit and manipulation. Initially promised a position as a helper cum cook in the Middle East, Azad found himself in Moscow after a detour through Sharjah, signing documents in a foreign language he didn’t comprehend. Subsequently, he underwent a brief military training before being thrust into the conflict zone.

Desperate Pleas For Help

Mohammad Yousuf Kumar implores Prime Minister Modi’s intervention, seeking assistance in repatriating his son from the perilous situation he has been ensnared in. The family’s desperate appeals resonate with neighbours and community members, who decry the exploitation of vulnerable individuals by unscrupulous recruitment agencies.

Widespread Concerns And Calls For Action

The plight of Azad Yousuf Kumar is not an isolated incident. Reports emerge of another Kashmiri, Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh, from the Tangdar area of Kupwara, missing in Russia since December 2023. As concerns mount, demands for swift action reverberate across Kashmir, with organizations like the Jammu and Kashmir Students Association advocating for the safe return of both individuals.

Appeals For Government Intervention

Umma Jamal, National General Secretary of the Jammu and Kashmir Students Association, underscores the urgency of the situation, urging government officials to expedite efforts to repatriate Azad and others caught in similar predicaments. The association has intensified its advocacy, engaging with India’s Ministry of External Affairs and local authorities to facilitate the safe return of the stranded individuals.

The distressing ordeal faced by Azad and Zahoor underscores the need for heightened vigilance against fraudulent recruitment practices. Concerned voices within Kashmir and beyond call for stringent measures to curb the exploitation of unsuspecting individuals, emphasizing the imperative of timely government intervention to prevent further tragedies.