Telangana: ‘Wanted’ workers struggle to return home from Saudi

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return home from Saudi

HYDERABAD: Nineteen workers from Telangana, who wanted to make use of the amnesty scheme in Saudi Arabia and return to India, suffered a jolt with their kafils (employers) declaring them ‘matloob’ or wanted. This has been happening not just with workers from the Telugu states, but also those from other parts of India.

The 19 workers from Nizamabad, Medak, Karimnagar, Adilabad, Sircilla and Jagtial districts now face the prospect of having to suffer at the hands of their kafils or being sent to jail. When a kafil declares a worker as ‘matloob’ this information shows up on the online system and he is not allowed to leave Saudi Arabia. The kafil does not even have to mention the reason why he is declaring the worker as wanted. What is normally understood in such cases is that the worker probably was trying to escape from the kafil due to torture or harassment.

“We are stuck in Saudi. We are facing exit issues because of kafils declaring us as ‘matloob’. Please help us to come out of Saudi,” said Dasari Madhusudhan of Chilvakodur village of Gollapalli mandal in Jagtial, bringing the issue to the notice of Telangana’s NRI affairs minister K T Rama Rao. In Madhusudhan’s case, the kafil has been demanding that he come back and work and slapped a theft case against him.

The workers are anxious because by June 25 they have to complete the process to leave the country. The three-month amnesty announced ends on June 30. During this period, all workers who have been overstaying or illegally working have been asked to leave. If the amnesty is availed, workers can go back to work in Saudi Arabia, if they want to by following due employment procedures.

The workers from Telangana stuck in Saudi Arabia because of kafils disallowing them to leave have been identified as Dasari Madhusudhan Rao (Jagtial); Gadila Ramesh Rao, Dodle Rajeshwar Rao, Sarangi Sayanna, Jakkani Thirupathi, Talari Ramadas, Danena Chinna Borranna, Masapathri Raju, Lawdia Rupsigh, Lawdia Balaram, Nadupula Bakkama and Bhog Maruti (Nizamabad); Rakupally Srinivas and Mohammaed Javid (Karimnagar); Jinna Ramulu and Goduri Swami (Medak), Gotrala Balraj and Anil Korike (Sircilla); and Shaik Hussain (Adilabad).

Saudi Arabia had announced the amnesty to make the country a ‘nation free of violators’. But, with kafils having the privilege to list their workers as ‘matloob’, it becomes impossible for the worker to leave the country.

The Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia is aware of the problems of Indians who are listed as ‘matloob’, but the country’s rules means that it has little leeway when it comes to asking the kafils to let the workers leave.

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