NIZAMABAD: As many as 362 Indian migrants to the Gulf region were released from jails in Saudi Arabia and reached India a couple of days ago.
The workers belong to various states, including Telangana state. News reports carried in Deccan Chronicle on August 30 and September 16 highlighted the plight of Indian workers in Saudi Arabian jails. Reacting quickly on this, the external affairs ministry, the Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia and various state governments took initiatives for the safe return of the workers.
As many as 150 Indian workers from Jeddah and 212 from Riyadh prison were released and brought to India. Most of the workers landed in jail due to petty crimes like signal breaking, illegal vegetable/ water sales, lockdown violations. These occurred mainly due to ignorance of local laws. Migrant workers from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia were also facing the same situation.
Inmates from Jeddah jail sent a video clip to Deccan Chronicle and explained their problems. The family members of Gulf guest workers worried over their safe return. They pleaded with the Centre and respective state governments for the release of the workers. In view of Covid-19 pandemic, both Gulf guest workers and their families worried a lot about their safe return.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Bhukya Man Singh, 39, (Passport No. K9204159) said that they had faced a hell-like situation in Saudi jails for four months. “Jail authorities ignored us, refused to give us kuboos (bread) regularly and we experienced starvation,” he lamented. After news items were published in Deccan Chronicle, both Indian and Saudi Arabian responded positively and released us from the jails, he said. “We and our family members are indebted to Deccan Chronicle,” he added.
Man Singh said that and his elder brother Bukya Ravi went Saudi Arabia in search of livelihood. Due to lack of awareness on local laws, we committed petty crimes and landed in jail, he said. “We went Saudi Arabia to improve our family financial position, but unfortunately we incurred heavy losses”, he said. Our family members felt happy about the safe return of me and my brother, he explained.
Gulf guest workers belonging to Telangana state, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and other states were brought to New Delhi in the first week of October. After an eight-day quarantine period, they were shifted to their native places. The authorities also issued coronavirus negative certificates to the migrant workers. The flight charges and accommodation were provided free of cost to the migrant workers.
Telangana Gulf Workers Welfare and Cultural Association president P. Basanth Reddy said that around 400 Indian workers landed in Saudi Arabian jails and their safe return had turned difficult.
Based on the Deccan Chronicle report, Union minister of state for external affairs, V. Muraleedharan and Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia, responded positively on the safe return of the Indian workers, he said. The news clippings brought to the notice of the ministry and Saudi Arabian authorities the need to release the Indian workers during the pandemic, he said....