2 Indians 'illegally confined' to Iranian city, kin seek help

 Two Indians have been allegedly confined to a guest house in Zanjan city of Iran since over a month by a private engineering firm following a business dispute with their Goa-based company, according to family members of one of them.

One of the men allegedly detained by the company is identified as city-based Sanket Pandya (36).

"Sanket, working as a manager with the Goa-based Power Engineering (India) Pvt Ltd, and Mohammed Hussain Khan who hails from Haryana, are illegally confined to a guest house by a Iran-based engineering company which has taken away their passports," Dilip Pathak, brother-in-law of Pandya, said.

He said the incident came to light after Indian colleagues of the duo, who were part of the team sent to Iran for setting up of a power project by the Indian company, returned to Goa recently.

He said Pandya and Khan have been kept at the guest house since December 17, 2013.

"Sanket Pandya has been facing a lot of hardship as he is not allowed to move out of the guest house or contact officials in the Indian embassy in Iran. This is the case of illegal confinement by the company," Pathak told PTI.

However, Pandya is allowed to speak to his family members and officials of Power Engineering (India) over phone, he said, adding Pandya and Khan's passports were taken away by the company under the pretext of stamping them.

Pandya's family members have sought intervention of the PMO and the External Affairs ministry to ensure "release" of the duo and have approached local BJP MP Balkrishna Shukla for help.

When contacted, Shukla said, "I have written letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Chief Minister Narendra Modi apprising them about the incident and sought their help".

Shukla said he was in touch with owners of the Goa-based company.Power Engineering (India) officials could not be contacted. 

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