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Kin of Surat man killed in Ukrainian missile strike request for mortal remains

The youth, Hemil Mangukia, is reported to have been killed in the missile strike on February 21 while the family is learnt to have been informed about the death by one of his friends on February 23.
Last Updated 27 February 2024, 02:33 IST

Ahmedabad: The family of the 23-year-old youth from Surat, who was killed in a Ukrainian missile attack in a war zone while working as a "helper" for the Russian army, held a condolence meet locally called besna in Surat. Customarily, a besna is held after the last rites. The family is urging the government to help them bring his body back to Surat for the last rites.

The youth, Hemil Mangukia, is reported to have been killed in the missile strike on February 21 while the family is learnt to have been informed about the death by one of his friends on February 23. Hemil's relatives said that the last time his father Ashwin spoke to his son was on February 20.

Hemil's uncle Suresh Mangukia told a news channel on Monday outside their house in Velanja in Surat that the family was awaiting official confirmation about his death. He said that the family has been requesting the authority to get his body back.

According to sources, Hemil had met another Gujarati identified as Mohammed Tahir Shaikh on their way to Russia. Shaikh, who somehow managed to return a couple of days earlier, lives in Sarkhej area of Ahmedabad. 

They both are reported to have reached Russia sometime in December along with a dozen others who were from various other places. Despite repeated attempts he didn't respond to calls. 

Both have left Russia on work visas which are said to have been arranged by Mumbai-based agents whose network is spread across the country. Hemil is learnt to have paid Rs 3 lakh to the Mumbai-based agent to help him go to Russia. 

According to reports, in Russia, he was forced to sign a contract which made work in a war zone while his salary was raised up to Rs2.5 lakh per month. Originally, the Mumbai-based agents offered him a job of Rs50,000 a month as "helpers" for the Russian army.

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(Published 27 February 2024, 02:33 IST)

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