Telangana, AP workers jailed in Kuwait for want of visa

Oil crisis forced the local authorities to crack down.

NIZAMABAD: Around 10,000 Indian workers, most of them belonging to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, were arrested by Kuwait security forces over the last few days. Women too were taken into custody It is believed that the oil crisis in Kuwait forced the local authorities to crack down on illegal immigrants.

Around 17,000 Indian workers went to Kuwait in search of a livelihood and were working in private firms there. A large number of women were working as house maids, some of them not possessing a visa nor work permit. Workers in Kuwait hail also from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Philippines and Egypt and illegal immigrants from these countries have also been arrested since last November.

The authorities shifted the workers to jails and seized their belongings, including their cellphones, making communication with their families impossible. Speaking to Deccan Chronicle from Kuwait on Monday, A. Gangeshwer of Ergatla village in Morthad mandal of Nizamabad district said that Indian workers, especially those from Andhra, were living in fear of being arrested, staying confined to their rooms.

The situation at Mahabulla, Fahil, Titan, Farsania, Abasia, Jahra, Hawalli and other areas in Kuwait was grim, with workers having been put in jail, and lacking the means to return to their home towns, he said. Their salaries were meagre and having turned to unauthorised work, they had turned illegal immigrants, Gangeshwer said.

He pointed out that while the Philippine embassy had immediately responded to the plight of their nationals, the Indian embassy did not. Gangeshwer has urged the Central, Telangana and AP governments as also NGOs to help in their safe return.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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