An Indian worker in Bahrain was allegedly attacked by two men soon after he attended a funeral service of the 17 Indian workers killed in Sunday's labour-camp fire in Manama.
Rengaswamy Pushparaj was allegedly beaten up when he resisted efforts by two men, both Indians, to drag him into a car soon after he left the funeral service of the fire victims who included his brother, reports said.
According to a report in the Gulf Daily News, Pushparaj, described as a runaway construction worker, was attacked by the men from the construction company he had worked for.
Later, one of the attackers returned with a Bahraini who claimed to be Pushparaj's original sponsor.
The man, identified as Hilal by the Bahrain Tribune newspaper, reportedly had an altercation with officials of the Indian embassy in Bahrain who had arrived at the scene of the scuffle.
"He is my property because he ran away while working for me and I have the complete right to take him if I want to, even if he does not like it," the Gulf Daily News quoted the Bahraini as saying. He said he wanted to deport Pushparaj back to India.
According to the report, Pushparaj admitted to having worked in the company but said he had run away as he was not paid his salary for two months.
"I worked with this company for more than two years, but I ran away because the company did not pay two months of my salary of BD (Bahraini dinars) 120 a month, telling me that it was needed for the renewal of my contract, which was BD 450," he told the newspaper.
"I am now working in a small garage and have no legal resident permit because my passport is in the custody of the construction company."
He said that he needed at least BD 1,500 to make his way back to India.