The chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala on Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take all possible steps to bring back the Indian nurses stranded in Iraq.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha wrote to the Modi, urging him to take up the matter at the highest level, including the United Nations, to secure the safety of the nurses.
“As you are aware, 46 Indian nurses working in Tikrit General Hospital in Iraq are trapped in the current conflict in that country. Six of these nurses includng Sini, Sili, Simi, Aleena, Neethu and Maneetha are from the Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu. Their families are extremely anxious about the safety of these young nurses. These nurses are innocent bystanders, rendering valuable service to the health system of Iraq,” she wrote in the letter to the prime minister.
Stating that India and the international community at large are duty-bound to ensure their safety, Jayalalitha said “Hence, I would be grateful if you could kindly intervene personally and take up the matter at the highest level in Iraq and with other international agencies including the United Nations and the Red Crescent to secure the safety and security of the Indian nurses, including the six from Tamil Nadu and arrange for their safe passage back to India”.
In his letter, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy pointed out that most of the abducted nurses were from the state. “They are forced to work with less wages and limited food,” he said. They should be brought back at government’s expense, he said, adding “if necessary a special Air India flight may be arranged to bring them back”.