Indian driver detained in Saudi Arabia for seeking help online | india | Hindustan Times
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Indian driver detained in Saudi Arabia for seeking help online

An Indian worker from Karnataka was detained twice by Saudi Arabia after he sent a video to a social activist and sought help for leaving the country due to harsh working conditions.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2016 09:32 IST
HT Correspondent
Abdul Sattar Makandar, 35, was detained on March 15 and again on March 18
Abdul Sattar Makandar, 35, was detained on March 15 and again on March 18(Screengrab)

An Indian worker from Karnataka was detained twice by Saudi Arabia after he sent a video to a social activist and sought help for leaving the country due to harsh working conditions, BBC Trending reported on Saturday.

Abdul Sattar Makandar, 35, was detained on March 15 and again on March 18 under a Saudi law that punishes misrepresentation of facts.

“I’ve been working in Saudi Arabia as a driver,” an emotional Makandar said in the video.

It was posted on Facebook — and later on YouTube — by Kundan Srivastava, the social activist.

“I put in my papers for a leave five months back but they won’t let me go,” Makandar said.

According to Saudi law, an employee cannot leave the country until the employer approves the leave, BBC Trending reported.

Makandar, who has been working as a truck driver for the Al Suroor United Group, said he did not receive salary for three months and the company fraudulently made him a sign a document that enables them to cut 100 riyals from his pay.

The company denied the charges by posting an image of Makandar thanking the company for helping him get an engineering qualification.

File photo of Makandar thanking the company for helping him get an engineering qualification. (Picture courtesy: Facebook/Al Suroor United Group)

The group has since posted images of several migrant workers thanking the company for improving their lives.

Makandar was hired two years ago through an Indian recruitment agency, Discomb Gulf Travels, The News Minute said.

Managing director of Discom, Riyaz Batey, told BBC Trending they were not aware of the worker’s plight until the video appeared online.

While the video was taken down by the social activist after Makandar’s arrest, it has garnered over 58,000 views on YouTube so far.

Saudi Arabia has been criticised for human rights violations and difficult working conditions for migrant workers.

In December, three workers from Kerala’s Alappuzha district returned to India after they were allegedly tortured by their employer in Saudi Arabia.