THE AZAMGARH district administration on Tuesday wrote to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and other authorities requesting that legal and other help be provided to 30-year-old Ashok Sharma, who is languishing in a jail in Saudi Arabia for the last six months.
In June, 2010, Azamgarh native Ashok Sharma had gone to Saudi Arabia, where he was working as a private driver in Dammam city. Two months ago, his family came to know through a relative, Achhey Lal Vishwakarma — who also works in Saudi Arabia — that police had arrested Sharma in a road accident case.
Since then, Sharma’s family had been approaching officials and local politicians seeking help for his release.
On Monday, Sharma’s father Jagdish, a businessman, along with other relatives had met Azamgarh District Magistrate Suhash L Y and submitted an application. “On their request, a letter has been sent to the protector general at MOIA with details of the case provided by the family. We have requested that legal and other help be provided to the person in Saudia Arabia. I have also requested MOIA to arrange complete details about the case related to the man to his family. A letter has also been sent to UP home department with details about the matter,” said the DM.
Sharma’s younger brother, Sanjay, said: “I have faxed the letter seeking help for my brother’s release to the office of the Ministry of External Affairs and Union Home Ministry as well. My father has already met local SP MLA and UP Minister Durga Prasad Yadav and Gorakhpur BJP MP Yogi Adityanath.”
Before going to Saudi Arabia, Sharma used to run a carpenter shop near his house at Dugnara village in Azamgarh’s Kandharpur area.
Sanjay said that in June, 2010, his brother went to Saudi Arabia along with Vishwakarma — a native of Mau district. Vishwakarma had arranged for a driver’s job for Sharma. “Initially, my brother used to call his wife Munila and other family members. But suddenly he stopped calling six months ago. We called up Achhey Lal but he could not give any specific reply about my brother’s whereabouts,” he added.
“Around two months ago, Achhey Lal came to his native place… When we met him, he told us that my brother’s has been arrested. Since then, we have been running from pillar to post for help,” said Sanjay, adding that they are also in touch with the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia, which has confirmed that Sharma is in jail.