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Indian shepherd to return after 18 years

Dubai: An Indian man, who went to work in Saudi Arabia as a shephard in 1994 but could never return as his sponsor withheld his salary and did not allow him a vacation, is finally set to return home following intervention of the local police.

P Periyaswamy from Mangalamedu Talukin Perambalur district of Tamil Nadu, even tried to commit suicide during the 18 years he spent working as a shepherd in Saudi Arabia.

The now 45-year-old arrived in Hail region of Saudi Arabia to work as a shepherd in 1994, just a year after his marriage.

According to officials at the Indian Consulate in Jeddah, all these years he never fought for his right to go home but tried to commit suicide once.

The matter was brought to the attention of the local police and the governor by a good-hearted Saudi citizen who learnt of his plight. Following complaint, the Saudi sponsor was arrested and ordered to pay the dues and air ticket to Periyasamy.

The man is now under the care of Al Shamli police authorities, which have been instructed by the governor`s office to make arrangements for his immediate repatriation and payment of his dues.

Since he does not have any travel document, he has been issued an Emergency Certificate (Outpass) by the consulate. The Consulate is also making efforts to locate Periyaswamy`s family in India.

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