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Another woman from Punjab ‘rescued from slavery’ in Saudi returns Wednesday

The woman, Sonia Lal Chand, had gone to Hafr Al- Batan, the largest city in North East Saudi Arabia, on August 31. Surinder, Sonia’s brother-in-law, said he got the message from the Indian Embassy about her return.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar |
December 6, 2017 12:57:32 am
punjab woman rescued from slavery, saudi slavery, Hafr Al- Batan, Bhagwant Maan, Indian Embassy in Riyad , punjab news, indian express news (Representational Image)

In another instance that highlights the plight of women from Punjab being forced to work as slave in Saudi Arabia, a woman who had sent a video alleging torture by her employer is returning home on Wednesday. The woman, Sonia Lal Chand, had gone to Hafr Al- Batan, the largest city in North East Saudi Arabia, on August 31. Surinder, Sonia’s brother-in-law, said he got the message from the Indian Embassy about her return.

A tweet from Indian Embassy in Riyad said, “Happy to update that Ms Sonia Lal Chand (passport no M9947610) will be reaching Delhi on 06.12.2017 at 10:05 hours by flight number AI 914, which is coming from Dammam, Saudi Arabia.” Surinder said his sister-in-law had gone there through a Delhi-based woman travel agent named Neha. “After reaching there, her employer not only forced to work her 24×7 but also used to beat her badly. When we called the agent, she didn’t help us,” he said, adding that Sonia could send only Rs 6,000 to her family over the past three months though she was promised a monthly salary of around Rs 30,000.

Sonia, who belongs to a poor family, has three daughters, one of them 8-year-old. Her husband Lal Chand had met with an accident and had fractured both his legs, after which he cannot work. Sonia had gone there to support her family. In a video Sonia sent recently, she was seen crying and narrating how her employer had been torturing her physically and not even providing medicines to her. She said she wanted to come back to her children and family here.

“Bagwant Mann ji mainu bacha lo ehthon vapis mangwa lo nahin tan eh mainu maar denge, (Bhangwant Mann, please save me and get me back to my country, otherwise they will kill me),” the woman was seen pleading in the video. Over the past some months, as many cases of Punjab women being forced to work as slaves in Saudi have come to light. One Iqwiner Kaur of Hoshiarpur and another, Sukhwant Kaur of Jalandhar, were also brought back from there recently.

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