Jalandhar woman ‘sold as slave’ in Saudi Arabia, kin seek Sushma’s help
A 39-year-old woman from a village in Jalandhar has allegedly been sold and being made to work against her wishes in Hail city of Saudi Arabia, her family said here on Friday. Paramjit Kaur of Gorsiya Nihal, 46 km from the district headquarters, had gone to Saudi Arabia for a job as house help on July 13, and contacted the family about her incarceration by an employer on August 21.
A social worker has helped the family, who are economically weak, approach the minister of external affairs (MEA), but nothing concrete has come of it yet. The social worker, Rajvinder Sharma (45), a retired captain from merchant navy, and the family contacted HT on Friday.
In an FIR lodged after she contacted her family, her husband Malkeet Ram (45) alleged that travel agent named Resham Bhatti of their village had promised a job to her in Saudi Arabia by saying that his wife too worked there and that the family would get Rs 40,000 once she is settled there. Once she was given a job, her passport was kept in the custody of her employer, and she is not allowed to move out of the house, said a relative, Naresh Kumar (50).
Bhatti has been booked under sections 370 (buying or disposing of any person as a slave), 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and is absconding.
Sharma also told HT that as sought by the ministry’s officials, the passport number was provided but they are unable to trace the victim there so far. “I also shared Kaur’s information on the minister’s Twitter page,” he said.
“My mother is facing hardships and wants to come back home. We request external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj for immediate help,” Rajni (17), Kaur’s daughter, said. Rajni said her mother is a heart patient and told them on the phone that he health is deteriorating.
When contacted, Nakodar deputy superintendent of police Mukesh Kumar said the accused agent will be nabbed soon. “The station house officer of Bilga (under which the village walls) too had talked to Kaur who narrated the same story to him.”
Earlier, in January, Sukhwant, 55, a resident of Ajtani village of Nurmahal, was taken to Saudi Arabia on a three-month visa by a Delhi-based agent but later it was found that she was sold as a slave. After HT reported the matter, Sushma Swaraj helped Sukhwant return safely on May 31.