The case was brought to the attention of the Indian Embassy in Tunis on May 26, 2023 by the family members of the stranded Indian nationals.
17 Indian youths, mostly from Punjab | Image: ANI & Haryana, evacuated from Libya. | Credit: PTI
Seventeen Indian nationals, mostly from Punjab and Haryana, arrived in New Delhi on Sunday evening (August 20) months after they were held captive by an armed group in Zwara City in Libya. According to sources, the stranded Indians were trafficked from India after unscrupulous agents duped them on the pretext of sending them to Italy, taking 13 Lakh each. The evacuation was carried out under the efforts of the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Embassy in Tunis (looking after Libya).
The case was brought to the attention of the Indian Embassy in Tunis on May 26, 2023, by the family members of the stranded Indian nationals. Since then, the Embassy continuously remained in close touch with the family members of the captives in Libya and regularly pursued the matter with Libyan authorities throughout May and June. The Embassy in Tunis also contacted the authorities in Libya regarding the release of Indian nationals through informal channels as well.
On 13 June 2023, the Libyan authorities rescued the Indian nationals, however, they were kept in their custody due to the possibility that the stranded Indian citizens may have entered the country illegally. Following the high-level intervention of Indian diplomats in Tunis and senior MEA officials from New Delhi, the Libyan authorities agreed to release the prisoners.
Meanwhile, it was informed that the Indian Embassy in Tunis looked after the needs of the Indians, including providing essential food items, medicines and clothes, during their stay in Libya. Since the individuals did not have passports, Emergency Certificates were issued for them so that they can travel to India back.
Earlier in May 2023, nine Indian crew members of a merchant vessel were freed after they were held captive by a militia in Libya for more than three months.
AAP MP demands actions
Following the return of the stranded Indian nations, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Vikramjit Singh Sahney asked Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers, Bhagwant Mann and Manohar Lal Khattar, to take immediate action in the matter and register FIRs against the agents who duped the Indian nationals for money.
“With the blessings of Akalpurakh Waheguru ji, we spearheaded successful evacuation of 17 youth of Punjab and Haryana from gallows of death in Libya where unscrupulous agents duped them after taking 13 Lakh each. Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers should immediately register FIRs against the agents who committed this heinous crime,” he said.