Today, AAP state convener Bhagwant Mann emphasized on the plight of 20 Indian youths who had been putting up in deplorable situations at Riyadh in Saudi Arabia for the last three month. As many as 15 are from Gurdaspur, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur in Punjab with two each coming from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, and one from Panipat. Mann told the 20 youths returned to India four days ago.
The youth were stuck in the foreign land without cash and with minimal food after being cheated by travel agents who had sent them abroad on the pretext of lucrative posts.
Together with the youths, Mann demanded FIRs against travel agents who had cheated the youths. He sought jobs for released youth as promised by the Captain Amarinder Singh government.
The youths declared as many as 2,000 Indian youths were stuck in Saudi Arabia. They told many had died and their bodies has been stuck there for the last two years.
Bhagwant Mann also told that he received a video SOS from the youths through Facebook. Then, he brought the issue to the intelligence of the Ministry of External Affairs. Following that, the youths were issued urgent cards and the process of bringing them back to India was started.
Charanjeet Kumar of Chabbewal village in Hoshiarpur told, We were promised jobs as drivers that would get us 1,700 Saudi riyals. For this, Rs 1.5 lakh were taken from my agent Raju Pathania at Chabbewal. He gaved me over to an agent Al Amar in Mumbai.
Reaching upon there, we were told that as there were only 10 vehicles and 50 drivers, all could not be given jobs. We were made to sign a document stating that we would get only 1,100 riyals if we wanted to eat. We were given rice which even animals wouldn’t eat all the time. Over 20-25 of us were made to live in small dingy rooms. We were told that anyone unwanted to tow the line could go back to India on a depositing Rs 1.5 lakh.
Charanjeet told After Mann’s complaints to Union Minister Sushma Swaraj and the MEA, the embassy called them on their numbers.
The youths told even after Bhagwant Mann’s intervention, the embassy first sent Al Amar personnel, who asked them to sign papers that were not in talks with the Indian Embassy nor Mann.
“We rejected to do that and had to wait 15 more days after which the embassy replied under pressure. After our return, we spoke to our agent but they rejected to return our money,” they told.
Mann also told, The process of bring back 20 more youths is also on. I know of at least two youth from Punjab — one who died 11 months ago and second who died six months ago. Their deceased bodies were stuck there.
Book travel agents, demands Bhagwant Mann
- Bhagwant Mann demanded FIRs against all travel agents who had cheated the youths.
- He sought jobs for the saved youths as ‘promised’ by the Captain Amarinder Singh government.