Pradeep Pattanayak

As many as 17 Odia labourers stuck in Laos will reach Odisha on Sunday, thanks to the intervention of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National Vice President, Baijayant Panda. 

The consulate has reportedly confirmed their return to Odisha. 

As per reports, 11 people from Aul, Rajkanika and Rajnagar areas in the Kendrapara district, four from Jajpur, and one each from Dhenkanal and Keonjhar went to Laos through an agent. 

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They went there with the hope of earning a living for their families back in Odisha. Reaching there, they found their hope dashed to the ground. The company allegedly didn’t give them the promised salaries. Adding to that, they were allegedly tortured mentally and physically and were forced to work for 12 hours daily. 

The labourers informed their family members about the ordeal they were subjected to, requesting them to do something for their release. 

With no option left, the families of the victims contacted Baijayant Panda through the Kendrapara district BJP vice president, Krushna Chandra Panda, requesting intervention for the safe return of the labourers. 

Subsequently, Baijayant Panda contacted the Indian Ambassador and after briefing about the entire episode, he requested the diplomat to extend all possible help to send the labourers back to India.   

The efforts of Baijayant Panda bore fruit as all 17 labourers are on their way to Odisha and will reach on Sunday. 

Baijayant Panda has thanked the Embassy for the expeditious action. 

At the same time, the family members of the labourers are now breathing a sigh of relief and they have thanked Baijayant Panda for his intervention.