Amritsar, Nov 13(ANI): Ten Punjabi youngsters, who were duped by travel agents, recently managed to return to their homes from Iran after a year.
They were allegedly taken to Iran a year ago by a travel agent, who had assured them that it had better opportunities to offer. The agent had also taken over Rs. 100,000 from each of them.
But, soon their dreams were shattered. They were told that they would have to work for a construction company as laborers and that too without any salary.
"The travel agent had taken Rs 100,000 on the pretext of taking us to Iran with an agreement of job for two years. On reaching Jalandhar, we were issued passports with a stamp of one month's tourist visa. On confronting the agent they said that everything was all right and that our visas would be extended after reaching there. But, on reaching Iran we found out that our visas were not extended and we had to face a lot of problems over there. We lived without food and were not paid any salary for 10 months," said Amritpal Singh, a victim.
Gurbaz Singh, another victim, said: "The Government should take strict action against unscrupulous travel agents so that other youngsters do not become their victims. It is a very serious issue and authorities have to be very strict so that the agents do not indulge in such frauds."
The youth returned after intervention by the Government and after their return they revealed that they were threatened that they would be sent in Pakistani jails if they spoke about their exploitation by the company.
Though the nightmare is over for them they want to send message to those youngsters who want to go abroad.
"There are some cases in which travel agents have duped the youngsters. But, there are many cases in which the youngsters knew the consequences and still took a risk. Earlier, people from Punjab have migrated illegally to Canada, U.S.A. and England and settled down there. Now, people want to take the same path. The success is less, but those who leave illegally make their families suffer a lot," said Bikram Singh Majitha, Patron of the youth Akali Dal.
Mahinder Kaur, mother of a victim, said: "We want the travel agents to be punished. We spent nine months in misery after the children went abroad. We remained hungry many a times because our children were without food there. Whenever they used to make a phone call and told us that they had no money for food we felt terrible and did not eat."
There are people who are deceiving hundreds of youths from Punjab and taking money from them by promising to get them to western countries.
Most of these youth land in jails abroad. By Savinder Singh(ANI)