Jayanta Biswas, the young automobile engineer who was sold as a slave to a Saudi Arabian man soon after landing in the country after being conned with a lucrative job offer, returned to India on Tuesday. He has put up at his brother’s place in Mumbai and reached Naihati home in North 24-Parganas on Wednesday.
The six-month nightmare still fresh in his memory, Jayanta managed to speak to HT in a feeble, trembling voice on Tuesday evening. “I took an Air-India flight from Riyadh this morning and reached Mumbai at around 2pm,” he said while talking from his brother’s phone. “I was not sure about returning home till late last night,” Jayanta said before revealing the final-hour ordeal he went through in Riyadh, the Saudi capital.
Jayanta’s brother Uttam Biswas thanked the government and the Indian high commission in Riyadh for their “utmost cooperation” in getting his brother freed. The Biswas family had appealed to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj for her personal intervention in the matter recently and “she pursued our case earnestly,” Uttam said.
Incidentally, the ministry shifted to top gear in getting Jayanta back home soon after his story was published in HT’s Kolkata edition on November 8. Jayanta had escaped his ‘master’ (kafeel) Naief Bookme’s home and was staying with a friend in Riyadh, even as he apprehended that his ‘master’ would raid the place anytime and take him away.
“An official of the Indian mission in Riyadh assured us on Monday evening that they would arrange Jayanta’s return with the help of an NGO. He would just have to collect an ‘emergency certificate’ from the high commission to leave the country, the official said and added that Jayanta would be boarding a flight from Dammam, a city 500 km from Riyadh, on Tuesday morning,” Uttam said.
However, the situation changed dramatically within an hour.
Jayanta’s ‘master’ Naief arrived at Jayanta’s friend’s place and started beating him up. He then took away the battery of his mobile phone and the SIM and memory cards before dragging him away and speeding off in his car with him.
“He took me to Riyadh airport, abusing me all the while during the journey, handed over a plane ticket and threatened me to leave the country on the flight, without creating any further trouble for him,” Jayanta said. “But I was penniless, and clueless about how to contact my family. Finally, I took the flight and reached Mumbai airport from where I took a taxi to reach my brother’s home. He paid the taxi fare.”