Twelve goldsmiths from West Bengal who were stranded in Iran have got their passport back and are likely to return to Kolkata on Wednesday, National Anti-trafficking Committee chairman said.
Families of the youths had alleged that they were kept confined by their employer. The labourers were forced to survive in a single room with little food and water ever since their passports and visas were seized allegedly by their employer, the families had alleged.
Since October 21, the National Anti-trafficking Committee (NATC) has been trying to bring them back and had been in touch with all authorities concerned.
“We have informed the ministry of external affairs, Prime Minister’s Office, West Bengal Chief Minister, ADG CID & Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran, New Delhi,” said Sk Jinnar Ali, chairman of NATC. The Indian Embassy in Iran managed to get in touch with the youths and arranged food for them.
“A few days ago, under the leadership of A K Singh from Indian Embassy, the youths were rescued from Chabahar and brought to Tehran. They will be returning to India on Wednesday,” said Sk Jinnar. The family members of all the youths have been informed about their arrival.
“We have been waiting for this news. My wife is extremely happy to hear that her brother is coming back. The NATC and the other authorities have helped us immensely,” said Sheikh Salim, brother-in-law of SK Mounuddin, one of the 12 stranded youths, told the Indian Express.
The youths from Hooghly, Coochbehar, Howrah and Burdwan districts had gone to Iran in February. They were allegedly duped by their employer who had seized their document.
According to the relatives, one Giasuddin Mallick took the youths, who were jewellery-makers, to Iran. Mallick had been working in Dubai in a jewellery showroom for 15 years. Last year, he met a sheikh in Iran who asked him to bring 10-11 labourers from India and assured him that they will be given proper food and salary. Mallick took Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 from each of them and took them to Iran in February on a tourist visa, the relatives had claimed. Mallick is also stranded in Iran.
However, it is still not known if any action will be initiated against him when he reaches Kolkata.