Iraq returned Punjabis wait for their dues

  • Tarsem Singh Deogan, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Mar 28, 2016 23:07 IST

As many as 163 Punjabi labourers, who were rescued from Iraq in 2015 when the ISIS raided Baghdad, are still waiting for their employment dues that were promised to be transferred into their respective bank accounts.

The workers said they have knocked the doors of all top politicians but to no avail. They said all politicians, including Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) member parliament Bhagwant Mann and Bahujan Samajh Party (BSP)’s Punjab chief Avtar Singh Karimpuri have done nothing for them. They also met deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in Ludhiana recently through a councillor, but to no avail.

Buta Singh, one of the workers said they have called the Indian embassy several times but no one has been responding to them.

“We have made a call to one of their co-workers in Basra in Iraq, who told said the company has already paid our dues to the ministry, but the ministry never informed us about it,”said Buta Singh, who belongs to village Sangowal in Ludhiana.

“Our hard earned money ( Rs 2 to Rs 3 lakhs of each labour) has been pending with the employer Abdullah Alzubri. At the time of our rescue, the government had promised us that all pending dues will be transferred to our respective bank accounts,”he added.

Visakha Singh of Sangowal village of Ludhiana said they had gone to Basra in Iraq in 2012 and got work permit for two years. Later, the visa was extended for one year. They were labourers at Basra Sports City. Their 11 month salary was pending with the employer.

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