Kin of labourers trapped in Saudi Arabia meet admin

Bhubaneswar: The family members of the 12 labourers trapped in Saudi Arabia on Thursday met additional district magistrate (ADM) of Chhatrapur and sought his intervention for their early return to Odisha.

“We had borrowed money to send them to foreign country…they are being tortured there. We got to know that the employers have not paid them anything for last five months,” said one of their relatives.

“My son is being tortured there…He is not getting proper food. He has no money as well. I pray that my son should return home safely,” said another.

Meanwhile, the ADM has assured that steps are being taken to get all those stuck up back to Odisha.

“We have asked the labour officer to prepare a detailed inquiry report and then we will move the government for their safe return,” said Chhatrapur ADM Saroj Kumar Mishra.

As per reports, of the 12, four are from Rangeilunda, three from Beguniapara and one each from Khallikote, Chhatrapur, Patrapur, Chikiti and Hinjilikatu.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj directed the Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia to facilitate the return of the workers from India, including 12 from Odisha, who have been allegedly held captive by a company there on salary-related issues.

The action of the External Affairs ministry came after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik sought her intervention for the safe return of the Odia labourers.

Sushma Swaraj asked the Indian embassy in Riyadh to inform the Chief Minister about the development in ensuring their repatriation.

“Embassy cognizant of it, vigorously pursuing with the Company and agent towards their repatriation; hope to send them soon,” the Indian embassy in Riyadh tweeted.