Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Thursday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that all steps are taken for the safe return of all Keralites, who wish to do so, from Iraq in the wake of the violence in the country.
"The centre should see that the 46 nurses who are in Tikrit region are facing difficulty and if need arises a special Air India aircraft be sent to bring them back. Also they have been asked to pay damages for breaking the contract and hence, the Indian Embassy should be alerted and also if necessary, agencies like the UN and the Red Cross," said Chandy in a letter to Modi.
Meanwhile speaking to IANS from Iraq`s Basra, a carpenter from Kerala who has been there for the past 23 months, said they have informed the Indian embassy in Iraq that things are getting tough for them as their salaries are not being paid on time and with the situation fluid, they wish to return.
"We very rarely go out and what we are told is that at times there are gun-totting people moving up and down the streets. Things are getting scary and we have stopped working from Wednesday onwards.
"We are around 50 workers employed with a construction company, of which six are Keralites and the rest are from Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. We wish we can return at the earliest," said the carpenter who did not wish to be identified.
The office of Chandy has now got in touch with recruitment agencies in the state to find out how many people have been sent to Iraq in the recent past.