Sold as ‘bonded labour’ in Muscat, Jalandhar woman rescued after over 9 months
A 26-year-old Jalandhar-based woman, who was sold as a ‘bonded labourer’ by an Indian travel agent in Muscat, returned to India after being rescued, here on Monday.
Parveen Rani reached at Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport, here at 11 am. Rani, who was rescued after over nine months broke down on seeing her family — father Joginder Singh, mother Simarjit Kaur, sister Kawaljit Kaur and brother-in-law Harpal Singh — at the airport.
Jalandhar’s Mehmuwal Yusufpur village resident, Rani had gone to Dubai in November 2017, from where she was sold to a farmer.
“In 2017, I came in contact with travel agent Sukhdev Singh of Talwandi Butian village, Jalandhar, through one of my relatives. He promised to send me to Dubai and arrange a job with ₹30,000 per month as salary. I also paid him ₹60,000 for the same,” Rani said.
“I reached Dubai on November 20, 2017, from where Sukhdev took me to a travel agent’s office, confiscated my passport, and then sold me to a farmer of Muscat. At the travel’s agent’s office, there were around a hundred girls from across the world who were also being sold. Among them, around 10 were from India,” she said.
‘Was thrashed and threatened’
“The farmer took me to his home and I was forced to do bounded labour at his farm. He used to thrash me. He also pointed a gun to my head and threatened to kill me. Fearing for my life, I used to work from early morning till late night. It was a terrible life,” Rani said.
She said after some time she managed to contact her family, who then contacted NGO — Sarbat Da Bhala Charitable Trust (SDBCT) — and a hotelier in Dubai, SP Singh Oberoi.
“Oberoi paid the farmer for my release,” she said, thanking the organisation and the Dubai-based hotelier for giving her ‘a new lease of life’.
“It is a big racket involving human trafficking and is being run by fake travel agents of India in collaboration with their Dubai counterparts,” she said.
SDBCT’s Majha zone president Sukhjinder Singh, who was also present at the airport, said, “The state government should take strict action against such travel agent and these rackets should be busted immediately to save innocent girls.”
In July, three girls from Tarn Taran district—Simranjit Kaur and Sandeep Kaur of Pandori Gola village, and Ravneet Kaur of Sheron village—were rescued from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The trio was trafficked by a travel agent Yusuf Pallam Ibrahim, who was booked for human trafficking, and is absconding.
A fraudster duped a naval officer of ₹1.25 lakh by sending him an SMS saying that his account would soon be blocked as he had not updated his Know Your Customer details. To update the details, the officer clicked the link in January. Since the complainant was out working on a ship, he was unavailable to record his statement for five months. A First Information Report was later registered against the unidentified fraudster.
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday stayed the arrest of senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka in a case registered against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act in Panchkula. The FIR was registered on the complaint of the managing director of the Haryana State Warehousing Corporation, Sanjeev Verma, on April 26 at the Sector-5 police station in Panchkula.
Members of 23 farmer unions of Punjab gathered at Amb Sahib Gurudwara in Phase-8 in Mohali on Tuesday morning to march towards Chandigarh as part of their protest against the paddy-sowing schedule announced by the Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party government. Also read: Farmer unions in Punjab slam wheat export ban All Mohali-Chandigarh borders, including the Yadavindra Public School roundabout, have been sealed as a precautionary measure since Monday night.
In a major shuffle, the Karnataka government on Monday appointed senior IPS officer CH Pratap Reddy as the new Bengaluru city police commissioner, replacing Kamal Pant, according to an official order. The 1991-batch IPS officer, Reddy previously served as an additional director general of police of the law and order department of Karnataka. A native of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, Reddy is a B. Tech graduate. Usually, Bengaluru's police commissioners are replaced every year.
As Madhya Pradesh witnessed another episode of communal violence, this time in Neemuch, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday said he questioned the district administration about the incident. Singh's third query was if it was a crime to install idol on a government land, without permission; yes, he said was the response. “We will act on the basis of CCTV footage,” he quoted the officials as saying.