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‘Tortured’ in Saudi Arabia, Hoshiarpur woman rescued by Damdami Taksal

Teary-eyed Akvinder narrated her sufferings during her two-month stay in the Saudi Arabia.

punjab Updated: Oct 05, 2017 13:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
‘Tortured’ in Saudi Arabia,Hoshiarpur woman rescued,Damdami Taksal
Victim Akwinder Kaur. (HT Photo)

A 30-year-old woman of Hoshiarpur’s Bhungari village, who was stuck in Saudi Arabia, was rescued by Damdami Taksal, a Sikh educational organisation based in Amritsar.

The organisation provided financial assistance she needed to exit the work agreement she had signed to work for a family based in Dammam, a city in eastern province of Saudi Arabia, two months ago. Akvinder Kaur, a mother of three, arrived at Amritsar on Tuesday evening.

“We bore the expenses of the settlement of her work agreement and return ticket which costed around Rs 1.5 lakh.”

Interacting with the media on Wednesday, tear-eyed Akvinder narrated her sufferings during her two-month stay in the foreign land and alleged that the family she worked for as a housemaid not only kept her in the adverse state but also physically tortured her.

“I was on the verge of killing myself. I can’t even put into words what all I had to face there,” she said.

Akvinder, whose husband Ranjit Singh works as a sweeper in a factory, said her financial condition compelled her to consider the suggestion of a local woman, Neelam, who told her about the secure and high-paying job in Saudi Arabia. “Neelam said she has also worked there and families in Saudi pay quite well. I had gone to work as a housemaid but never knew that things could turn so ugly for me,” she said.

Sandeep Singh of Damdami Taksal, who accompanied her to the press conference, said, “A week ago, we found a video on the social media in which Akvinder was requesting Aam Aadmi Party’s state president Bhagwant Mann to rescue her.” In the video, she could be seen saying, “Maan Ji! I am stuck in Dammam. I have young children. The people I work for are asking me to pay Rs 2 lakh to free me. They don’t give me food to eat. Please save me.”

The minister then posted the video on his official Facebook page on September 24 and sought any kind of information about Akvinder. “We found the video even before it was posted on Mann’s Facebook page. However, in the comments’ section, a man from Lucknow, who worked as a driver in Riyadh, helped us to get in touch with Akvinder,” Sandeep said.

“Damdami Taksal has borne the expenses of the settlement of her work agreement and return ticket, total of which costed around Rs 1.5 lakh,” he added. Meanwhile, no police complaint has been filed in the matter so far.

First Published: Oct 05, 2017 13:51 IST