"Many of the nurses who were available on mobile phones are now not accepting calls from Kerala."
By Sanu George

Thiruvananthapuram, June 21 - It's been two days since we feel we are in jail. Every time the phone rings, we wish it's one with good news, but so far that has not come, a carpenter from Kerala working in Iraq's Basrah told IANS over the phone.

Fifty-seven of us from various parts of India are packed to return. We have stopped our work and are eagerly waiting to return. Today morning (Saturday), Indian ambassador in Iraq, Ajay Kumar - a Malayalee - called us, but did not say anything on when we will be able to return, said the carpenter who did not wish to be identified.

Ajay Kumar asked us to send an email to Kerala Minister for Diaspora K.C. Joseph giving all the details of all the 57 of us, stating that all of us wish to return.

The carpenter said they will be sending all the details very soon.

He said they have been in Basrah since July 2012 and their employers, who hail from Pondicherry have reportedly gone back to India leaving them in the lurch.

At times, we hear loud sounds and we are scared and remain indoors. We all wish that the Indian government does something to get us out from here, the carpenter pleaded.

Meanwhile, with lot of media attention being generated in Kerala with numerous TV channels showing footage of nurses holed up in Tikrit in Iraq, the authorities have now asked the nurses not to speak to the media.

Many of the nurses who were available on mobile phones are now not accepting calls from Kerala.

According to information, a few nurses were still going for work in and around Baghdad city, while in Tikrit, the 46 nurses from Kerala were mostly staying in their rooms and occasionally go to the hospitals when called for work.


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