Nepali woman held hostage in Iraq for three years

Kamala Murmu, 30, was 'sold' in Iraq three years ago by a human trafficker in the pretext of taking her to Oman for foreign employment, her mother claimed.

NL Today

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Jhapa: Kamala Murmu, 30, a resident of Arjundhara Municipality-6 has been held hostage by an unknown gang in Iraq, her mother has said while making an appeal for her rescue. Her mother Lakhi Murmu says that three years ago Kamala was ‘sold’ in Iraq by a human trafficker in the pretext of taking her to Oman for foreign employment. Initially, there was no contact with her for six months but since then we talk to each other through voice messages from time to time and my daughter is saying that she has been taken hostage, says Lakhi.

Kamala’s eight-year-old daughter is with her grandmother Lakhi. After her husband based in Gujarat, India abandoned her, Kamala was forced to go abroad for a livelihood, claims Lakhi. The family claims that Govinda Kattel of Itahari and Madan Kharel of Birtamod-1 took Kamala to Iraq promising her a good job in Oman. Lakhi said that Kamala has been expressing fear that the gang will kill her if she is not rescued. She is not allowed to eat well, forced to sleep on the cold floor and subjected to hard labor.

It has been a long time since the victim’s family informed the local police office, ward office, municipality and rescue organizations such as Maiti Nepal about the incident. The family complains that those agencies have not helped in the rescue. Kopila Basnet, president of Samunnat Nepal, said that the victim’s mother, Lakhi, contacted her after there was no initiative from anywhere to rescue Kamala. Basnet, who is also a lawyer, said, “Kamala Murmu is taken hostage in a foreign country. I request the government and administration to make an effort to rescue her quickly.”