The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Israel rings alarm on missing Indian guests

Jerusalem, Oct. 30 (PTI): Israeli immigration police are looking for 39 Indians, who “disappeared” after arriving here on an invitation from an irrigation firm.

The Indians were found “missing” from their hotel in the coastal city of Netanya, north of Tel Aviv, on Monday.

They had arrived here a week ago on a 10-day visa as guests of Netaffim Irrigation Equipment and Drip Systems Company.

The group had earlier in the week participated in professional training workshops on irrigation sponsored by Netaffim and was supposed to leave for India on Monday.

Israeli television, radio and several Hebrew newspapers have reported the incident in detail.

Indian embassy officials said they had not been officially notified about the incident.

A senior Israeli foreign ministry official said the issue would be investigated thoroughly.

He, however, added that the issue was unlikely to have a bearing on Israel’s policy towards issuing visas to Indians.

The Israeli embassy in Delhi had last year denied visas to 20 Indian businessmen who wanted to attend a commercial exhibition in Tel Aviv. Netaffim, which has offices in India, has a collaboration with Indian companies and its projects are under way in many states, particularly in Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

UN migrant list

India is among the world’s 10 largest exporters of migrants, with more than six million of its citizens residing abroad, even as it plays host to over 1.71 million refugees, a UN report has said.

An estimated 3 per cent of the world’s population, or 1.75 million people, are residing in a country other than that of their birth, with the US as the most attractive destination for migrants, playing host to over 35 million of them as of 2000, the UN Population Fund said.

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