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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Four out of five labourers from Odisha who were stranded in Malaysia under oppressive conditions returned home on Monday, thanks to BJP national Vice-President Baijayant Panda's intervention.

Panda had sought diplomatic intervention of the High Commission of India in Kuala Lumpur for facilitating repatriation of the stranded labourers last month.

Expressing his gratitude to the High Commission of India in Kuala Lumpur following the return of the labourers, Panda took to twitter and wrote, “Glad that 4 of 5 Indian labourers from Odisha who were stranded in Malaysia in oppressive conditions returned to Bhubaneswar y’day. Grateful to @hcikl with whom I’d been following up for their repatriation."

Taking strong cognizance of repeated incidents of migrating labourers getting stranded outside the State, Panda also urged the State government to crackdown on unethical labour contractors and agents.

According to reports, the five labourers—Laxmidhar Pradhan, Arun Pradhan, Kusha Pradhan, Alok Behera, Dambarudhar Swain—all from Nayagarh district had gone to Malaysia to work by paying Rs 60,000 each to a local agent Rabindra Padhi.

The labourers were employed at Taman Teknologi Cheng in NSK Trade City, Malaysia and though they had an agreement with the company, it allegedly failed to provide them basic facilities. When they complained about the matter, the company pressurised and threatened them to continue working.

Distressed and harassed, the labourers had appealed for assistance and wanted to return back home safely.

After the matter came to fore, Panda had written to the High Commission of India in Malaysia to intervene in the matter and take appropriate action to ensure timely return of the five workers.

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