A video of the three men being beaten up by their employer in Abha, Saudi Arabia, had surfaced on the social networking sites and mobile messaging services before being highlighted in the Indian media.
In the WhatsApp video, a Saudi employer is seen chasing and mercilessly beating the three men with a wooden plank. The video was recorded by the victims themselves and was sent to their families in Kerala, as a helpless last resort. B Vimal Kumar (30), Abhilash Gopi (30) and Byju Babu (26), all belonging to the southern state Kerala were allegedly conned by a placement agency which placed them in jobs in a brick factory. These three Indians who have got job in Abha were then captured and eventually faced the brutality of the Saudi employer.
In a proactive move, the Indian External Affairs Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj asked the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia to immediately look into the case of three men from Kerala who were allegedly tortured and held captive by their employer.
The Indian External Affairs Minister tweeted that she has seen the video of three Indians, and has asked for a report from Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia. "They will be back in India within a week", the Indian External Affairs Minister tweeted. Swaraj said in another tweet that they “have approached the police and got them police protection. We will follow this up”.
After Mrs. Swaraj’s intervention, Indian officials in Saudi Arabia got in touch with the authorities to secure protection for the three workers.
However, as this news goes for publication, the victim trio has returned to India, ending their three-week long ordeal. “Without any provocation, the Saudi national would vent his ire on us… he spit at us beat us with a plank”, informed the victims on reaching back India.
A lot of Indians, especially from the southern states, who reach the Middle East countries every year through agents, promising them good jobs and salary have become victims of cheating and end up doing hard physical jobs for survival. Earlier to this, a video showing a Saudi engineer brutally beating up an Indian worker engaged in the Grand Mosque expansion work in Mecca had also gone viral.
Importantly, the lack of rights, issues of social security and deplorable working conditions of the overseas employees in the Middle East has been always a hot topic of discussion and this incident is just a grim reminder that the issue needs urgent attention from the concerned governments.