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Parents in Surat await son's body after his death in Ukraine missile strike

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 Rs 2.5 lakh per month.
Last Updated 27 February 2024, 07:19 IST

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 last week, have requested the authorities to expedite the repatriation of his mortal remains. 

On Monday, the family held a condolence meet locally called ‘Besna’ in Surat. Customarily, a ‘Besna’ is held after the last rites.

However, the family is urging the government to help them bring his body back to Surat for the last rites.

The youth, identified as Hemil Mangukia, is reported to have been killed in the missile strike on February 21. 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.

Speaking to a local news channel in Surat’s Velanjl on Monday, Hemil's uncle Suresh Mangukia told a news channel on Monday said 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 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. 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 Rs 2.5 lakh per month. Originally, the Mumbai-based agents offered him a job of Rs 50,000 a month as "helpers" for the Russian army.

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(Published 27 February 2024, 07:19 IST)

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