Engineer sold as slave in Saudi Arabia, family wants him back

The family members of Jayanta Biswas have approached the Ministry of External Affairs for help in bringing him back from Saudi Arabia.

By: PTI | Kolkata | Published:November 9, 2016 10:30 pm

An automobile engineer, who went to Saudi Arabia for better job opportunities, has allegedly been “sold” to a Saudi national as a slave to work in his camel farm. The family members of Jayanta Biswas have approached the Ministry of External Affairs for help in bringing him back from Saudi Arabia.

However, they are yet to receive a word from the ministry. “We appeal to the Indian government to initiate action in order to bring my brother back. We are at our wit’s end,” Gouri Biswas, elder sister of Jayanta, said.

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According to Gouri, earlier this year Jayanta got in touch with agents in New Delhi and Mumbai, who had taken Rs one lakh from him to help him get a plum job in the automobile sector in Saudi Arabia. “The agents had put Jayanta on a plane to Riyadh on a tourist visa. They had promised that he would get a work visa after staying there for three months and find a job at an automobile service centre. On their assurance, Jayanta reached Riyadh on May 15. He was conned by the agents,” she alleged.

She said that after he reached Riyadh, he was sold to a Saudi national to work in his camel farm. “He was forced to work as a labourer in the farm and was given food only once. The person who bought him also tried to sexually abuse him. Jayanta once tried to flee his master’s house but failed and was severely beaten up,” Gouri claimed.

Later, however, he managed to escape and sought help from the Indian Embassy in Riyadh which recorded his statement and sent him to an NGO in the Saudi capital. Infuriated over Jayanta’s escape, his master lodged a police complaint accusing him of stealing 10,000 Riyals, following which he was put behind bars, she claimed.

“From the prison he managed to get in touch with us and this is how we got to know about his ordeal. When we got in touch with the agents, they demanded Rs 35,000 for my brother’s release. We paid the amount and he was released from prison on October 27,” Gouri said.

However, though he is now out of jail, the family is clueless about his return. His father, Rabindranath Biswas, wrote to the External Affair Ministry seeking their help in ensuring Jayanta’s return. “We have written to MEA and Union Minister Sushma Swaraj. But our pleas are yet to be heard. We want the MEA to take swift action,” Gouri said.