‘Tortured’ in Saudi by employer, 3 Kerala men set to return today

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Updated: Dec 26, 2015 08:33 IST
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said she was in touch with the Indian nationals. (PTI File Photo)

Three Indian men, who were allegedly tortured by their employer in Saudi Arabia, will return to India on Saturday, ending their three-week long ordeal.

According to reports, the three young men from Haripad in Kerala’s Alappuzha district were taken to Saudi Arabia by a placement agency on false promises of employment.

The three were taken to Abha on the assurance that they will get jobs as electricians and mechanics. But once they reached Saudi, they were asked to work in a brick kiln. Their parents say that they paid Rs one lakh each to travel agents.

“We were told that they will reach Kochi by Saturday evening. We are really grateful to the government for the timely help,” said Krishnakumari, the mother of one of the youngsters.

Police have registered a case against the travel firm that sent the youth to Saudi.

A video allegedly recorded by one of the men shows a Saudi man assaulting them with a wooden plank, and has been circulating on WhatsApp. When they tried to escape, the man was seen throwing concrete rubble on them.

When the video turned viral, Kerala chief minister Ooomen Chandy sought the help of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. The MEA immediately asked the Indian Ambassador in Saudi Arabia to locate them and arrange for their safe return.

Read: Employer attacks 3 Indians in Saudi, Swaraj secures their safety

This isn’t the first time that the foreign minister has taken up a case of Indian nationals in distress abroad after their plight came to light on social media.

In August, Swaraj helped rescue a woman after her brother posted on Twitter that she was lured by the promise of a job as an air-hostess in UAE but was instead being held by traffickers.

Earlier this month, another tweet about 14 Indians being stranded in Malaysia after pursuing a similar ruse of employment found audience with Swaraj.

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