25,000 T’gana work­ers on edge as mis­siles pound Iraq’s Er­bil

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION -

Hy­der­abad: With Iran tar­get­ing US forces in Iraq by fir­ing mis­siles, 25,000 Te­lan­gana work­ers in Er­bil, Iraq, are on ten­ter­hooks. In view of the sit­u­a­tion es­ca­lat­ing fur­ther, work­ers are will­ing to be evac­u­ated.

The Te­lan­gana Gulf Em­ploy­ees’ Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion stepped in and is­sued an ap­peal to Te­lan­gana work­ers to gather at the Con­sulate Gen­eral of In­dia (CGI) in Er­bil at 6pm on Thursday to pres­sure the author­i­ties to fa­cil­i­tate their travel back home. The In­dian em­bassy also ad­vised In­di­ans to avoid non-es­sen­tial travel to Iraq un­til fur­ther no­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“There is ut­ter chaos and un­cer­tainty here. There are a lot of Amer­i­can troops who are be­ing tar­geted by Iran. The sit­u­a­tion is go­ing to get dan­ger­ous in the com­ing days,” said Ra­machan­der Ray­alawar, vice-pres­i­dent of the as­so­ci­a­tion. Ra­machan­der, who works in Er­bil, said a large num­ber of Te­lan­gana work­ers are ex­pected to gather at CGI on Thursday.

A ma­jor­ity of the work­force from Te­lan­gana is em­ployed at con­struc­tion sites in Er­bil and nearby towns.

In a travel ad­vi­sory is­sued on Wednesday, the In­dian em­bassy in Baghdad asked In­dian nationals re­sid­ing in Iraq to be alert and avoid travel within the wartorn coun­try. “Our em­bassy in Baghdad and con­sulate in Er­bil will con­tinue to func­tion nor­mally to pro­vide ser­vice to In­di­ans re­sid­ing in Iraq,” the em­bassy said.

In­dian work­ers have al­ways con­sid­ered Baghdad a dan­ger­ous city to live in and hence cho­sen Er­bil, which is con­sid­ered safer. “The mis­sile at­tack took place in the night and there is a lot of move­ment of gov­ern­ment and mil­i­tary con­voys here,” Ra­machan­der said. “We heard that some he­li­copters were taken down in the at­tack. We also heard about casualties though we are not sure about that,” he added.

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