Visa agent booked after woman ‘sold’ to family in Saudi Arabia returns

Investigations revealed that the emigration stamp on Sukhwant Kaur’s visa had been made at the Byculla office of the visa agent, and not at the airport, as is required in the case of overseas travel, said the police

Written by Srinath Rao | Mumbai | Published:June 12, 2017 3:30 am
Saudi Arabia,  Sushma Swaraj, india Saudi Arabia, trafficking, woman sold, india woman sold, saudi arabia trafficking, latest news, india news, indian express External minister Sushma Swaraj (File Photo)

A visa agent from Byculla who sent a Punjab-based woman on a tourist visa to Saudi Arabia and allegedly forced her to work there as a domestic help for an Arab family has been booked. The woman returned to India on May 31 after the External Affairs Ministry intervened to bring her back.

Jalandhar-based Sukhwant Kaur (55) approached Al Saif Overseas Consultants in Mumbai earlier this year for a job. After paying Rs 40,000, she went to Saudi Arabia in January. In her complaint to the police, Kaur has said she flew from Delhi to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where she was received by the agent and then on to Saudi Arabia, where the agent allegedly sold her to an Arab family against her wishes.

After receiving severe physical and mental abuse at the hands of the family, Kaur had to be admitted to hospital and was able to contact her husband Kulwant Singh in India with the help of a hospital nurse. According to the police, Singh approached the Punjab government pleading that his wife be rescued. His complaint was forwarded to the External Affairs Ministry.

After securing her release, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj took to Twitter on May 30 to announce: “Thanks for bringing this to my notice. Sukhwant Kaur is returning home on 31 may 2017 at 0415 hrs by Flt G9406 (sic).”

After her return, Kaur and the External Affairs Ministry’s Protector of Emigrants registered a complaint with the Agripada police station.

“We have received a complaint from the woman and the PoE. We will record her statement and take proper legal action,” said Ashok Sarambalkar, senior inspector, Agripada police station. Subsequent investigations revealed that the emigration stamp on Kaur’s visa had been made at the Byculla office of the visa agent, and not at the airport as is required in the case of overseas travel, said the police.

The police have booked Alamgir Ahmad, the owner of Al Saif Overseas Consultants, on charges of human trafficking under the Indian Penal Code and for cheating an emigrant under The Emigration Act. Stating that no arrest had taken place till now, Sarambalkar said the police would first gather evidence against Ahmad.

srinath.rao@expressindia.com

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  1. I
    Indian
    Jun 14, 2017 at 2:24 am
    This is just the tip of the iceberg.
    Reply
    1. A
      Arun
      Jun 13, 2017 at 2:53 am
      it is a shame that so so much wrong is happening with Indians in Saudi and still modi govt is not paying any attention towards solving there root cause
      Reply
      1. M
        M.n. Rao
        Jun 12, 2017 at 12:21 pm
        There are many agents of this kind in India. There are many Indians in the Gulf States who are unable to return because as soon as one lands there, the sponsor or employer takes away the Passport. Many people suffer lots of torture too. Many of them go to Gulf with a promise of a good job but once they reach there, they are forced to do something else at very low or no ries at all. Most of them can't even contact India or its Embassies due to restrictions imposed on them. Many Arab States use their deplorable laws on expatriates to get slaves almost free of cost.
        Reply
        1. K
          Kawser Mohiuddin
          Jun 12, 2017 at 12:14 pm
          Nice job done by External Affairs Ministry... Very active prompt service indeed......
          Reply
          1. I
            Indrani Chakravarti
            Jun 12, 2017 at 11:48 am
            No FMin has ever done such commendable job like her
            Reply
            1. J
              John joseph
              Jun 12, 2017 at 9:57 am
              Slave women could be sold, freed, and then married to their new master as in the case of Sehriban (Zilfi 167), who married a statesman named Ahmed Midhat Pasha. He paid quite an amount of currency for her. This was apparently the way to be as "harem-reared slave girls were molded into well-bred and indebted replicas of their wealthy and well-placed mistresses" and, thus, well-trained wives (Zilfi 168). In the end, women in slavery (and many times women in general) were seen solely as a way to give pleasure to a man and create new life. Therefore, they were only offered the job of mother and wife (Blunt 92).
              Reply
              1. J
                John joseph
                Jun 12, 2017 at 9:56 am
                Women in the Ottoman Empire were treated very similarly to those in Morocco and the Barbary States. Women were put into a subservient category because of their " tive physical and moral weaknesses", which "rendered them subject to men" (Zilfi 16). This was mostly because of "decontextualized scriptural snippets" from the Quran, which "pla an important role in authorizing women's social marginalization" (Zilfi 16). Islamic law is primarily based on the Quran. Because of the way it is written, there is "a general acceptance of women and girls as secsxual commodities" and that female slaves could be freed and married by their masters (Sesxual Ethics and Islam… 40). In addition, this interpretation of the Quran was often thought of as a major factor in shaping Muslim thinking on secx and marriage.
                Reply
                1. J
                  John joseph
                  Jun 12, 2017 at 9:55 am
                  In the eighteenth century, a substantial number of Christian slaves were the subject of coerced conversion to Islam at the request of their masters. Muslim masters working to convert their captives would often use extreme forms of physical abuse to force the conversion of faith. As a result, many European Christian captives converted in an effort to avoid cruel punishments. This conversion was the first symbolic sign of cultural immersion as well as heavily contributed to the increased value of a slave. Slaves who didn't convert were forced to do hard labour and were discriminated a great deal more than slaves who chose conversion. Oftentimes, Islamic conversion was the first major step in the journey towards full imilation into Islamic culture. The psychological and social ramifications for conversion were crucial moments for turning slaves away from their past origins.
                  Reply
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