Indian National Mohammed Asfan Dies While ‘Fighting In Russia-Ukraine War’

Last Updated: March 06, 2024, 20:22 IST

Mohammed Asfan from Hyderabad was reportedly killed in Russian-Ukrainian war. (Image: @nawababrar131/X handle)

Indian Embassy in Russia confirms demise of Mohammed Asfan, pledges repatriation efforts. Govt seeks early discharge for Indian nationals

The Russian Embassy in India confirmed on Wednesday the death of Indian national Mohammed Asfan and assured the family of the deceased that the government will make efforts to repatriate his mortal remains.

Asfan, 30, who hailed from Hyderabad, was reportedly killed in the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. He, along with several others, was duped by agents and recruited as ‘helpers’ to fight alongside the Russian army, according to media reports. Asfan’s family earlier reached out to the government seeking help in bringing back the youth from the war zone.

“We have learnt about the tragic death of an Indian national Mohammed Asfan. We are in touch with the family and Russian authorities. Mission will make efforts to send his mortal remains to India,” the Indian mission in Russia said in a tweet. This development comes as a group of seven men released a video alleging coercion by Russia to join the Ukraine war against their will.

In the video, the seven men are seen wearing army uniforms inside a room with a closed window. Six of them stand in a corner while one explains their situation. Several men from Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Telangana find themselves trapped in the conflict, having been misled under false promises. They were enticed by a YouTube channel offering lucrative job opportunities, only to end up coerced into frontline combat duty.

Last week, India said it is trying its best for an “early discharge” of around 20 Indian nationals who are working as support staff to the Russian army. “It is our understanding that there are 20-odd people (Indians) who have gone their to work as support staff or as helpers with the Russian army,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said at his weekly media briefing on Thursday. “We are trying our level best for their early discharge,” he added.

Jaiswal said the “20-odd people” contacted the Indian embassy in Moscow. Many Indians were reportedly recruited as security helpers in the Russian military, and have been forced to even fight with Russian soldiers in certain areas along Russia’s border with Ukraine. “We are trying our best to get them out. We are trying to get them discharged and support them,” Jaiswal had said. “They are at various places and our embassy is in touch with the Russian authorities,” he added.

Jaiswal said India is in regular touch with Russian authorities, both in New Delhi and Moscow, to ensure the return of the Indians. “We told people not to venture into the war zone or get caught into situations which are difficult. We are deeply committed for the welfare of all our people,” he said. On Monday, the MEA said several Indians who worked as support staff to the Russian army were discharged following India’s demand.

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