- 24 workers from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Odisha are stranded in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
- The workers alleged that their employer ill-treated them, forced them to live in miserable conditions and also denied food and water.
From past 17 days, as many as 24 workers from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Odisha are stranded in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. These workers were hired by local agents to work in Aamal Al Muqawil Contracting Company (AMCO), and they left India on last December.
The workers alleged that the firm ill-treated them, forced them to live in miserable conditions and also they were denied food and water by the firm officials.
The workers are waiting for their exit letters to escape the misery and on April 17, Ministry of External Affairs initiate the process to bring them home, reported The New Indian Express. The private secretary of Sushma Swaraj, Vijay P Dwivedi, addressed the issue with Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia and the ambassador reportedly contacted and counselled the trapped workers.
However, the rescue efforts seem to have hit a road block as the issuance of the exit letters will get delayed, reported the daily. The officials of the company reportedly tried to convince the workers to stay back and assured to give them better work and living condition.
But, the workers refused to offer, and now the company has asked them to pay the cost of visa processing which is 1200 riyals in exchange for their exit letters. Exit letter is a mandatory requisite to return to India.
Meanwhile, a company representative of Voltech is mediating in the matter between the firm and the workers. This Chennai based company processed the visas of the 24 workers. The representative of the company reached Riyadh and met Indian embassy and the AMCO officials to sort this matter.
But after meeting the Saudi company officials, the Voltech company representative is also trying to persuade the workers to join back the Saudi firm for better food and accommodation facilities. According to the report, the Chennai-based company has blamed the 24 men of fleeing from the Saudi company before completion of their two-year contract. Also, AMCO has filed a complaint with Indian embassy. The Voltech representative also reasserted that the workers will have to pay the visa processing fee in case they refuse to join back.
The matter is between the Indian embassy and the 24 workers, and once the embassy officials find a valid reason they can ask the Saudi company to issue the exit letters, The New Indian Express quoted the representative of Voltech, Dhava Selvan, as saying.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 7:05 PM IST