Duped 17 Indian workers urge safe passage from Libya
A group of 17 Indian labourers, stranded in trouble torn Libya after being duped by a construction company, has urged the ministry of overseas Indians affairs (MOIA) to expeditiously arrange their safe passage for facing threat to their life from the rioters.
Speaking to Hindustan Times from Libya over phone, Raj Kumar, a carpenter of nearby Kabulpur village in Jalandhar, said that the rioters had attacked their residential camp based in Graiyn city, 100 kms from Tripoli, last week and robbed them of everything they had in terms of belongings. “They later put our house on fire,” he added.
“We somehow managed to escape from the spot to save ourselves even as we are forced to sleep on trees as rioters start dominating the curfew bound city after 5 pm daily. We beg for food in nearby villages and are living under inhuman conditions. The Indian government must rescue us as we are scared and under continuous threat of being eliminated,” he said.
Varinder Kumar, a mason from Gunachour village in Nawanshahr district, said that their employer–Acadnice Construction Company – had refused to return their passports thus creating hindrances in their safe return. “We are not able to contact Indian mission authorities since we don’t have any money with us. The employer had not paid us a single penny in last two months and we are begging for food to stay alive. Water is a luxury here,” he added.
Their families led by Ram Rattan Lamba, brother of Raj Kumar, in a representation to the minister for overseas Indians affairs Valayar Ravi has demanded that the Indian mission in Libya must contact the youth in distress and arrange their safe return immediately. “The government must provide them temporary travel documents and pay their return airfare from Indian Community Welfare Fund meant for helping Indians in distress,” the families demanded.
The victims include Avtar Chand, Varinder Kumar, Jagdish Singh, Raj Kumar, Manpret Singh, Amarjit, Harbans Lal, Balbir Lal, Gurtej Singh, Manjit Singh, all of them Punjab residents, Jugal Kishore and Om Parkash from Rajasthan, Mohan and Shivdass from Kerala and Bihar’s Vijay Shankar and Noordeen.
“Please save my son. I borrowed money to send him abroad last year. The construction company duped him by not paying salaries for two months while recent troubles in Libya had further put life of my son in danger. The government must expeditiously rescue him,” Joginder Pal, father of 33 years old Amarjit, said while tears rolling down.