Woman stuck in Saudi Arabia returns to India

A couple of days ago, Gurbaksh, through a video clip, sought government's intervention in securing her and her daughter Reena's safe return from Saudi Arabia where they were fraudulently sent by a travel agent.

By: PTI | Nawanshahr | Published: November 5, 2017 1:19:18 am

Gurbaksh Kaur, who along with her daughter was stuck in Saudi Arabia after being jailed over allegations of planning to kill members of the family she was working for, on Saturday reached her home in Nawanshahr and thanked Union and state governments for securing her release. However, her daughter, is still in Saudi Arabia.

A couple of days ago, Gurbaksh, through a video clip, sought government’s intervention in securing her and her daughter Reena’s safe return from Saudi Arabia where they were fraudulently sent by a travel agent. On learning about their plight in Saudi Arabia, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on October 30 had brought the matter to the notice of External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj, through a tweet saying: “This mother-daughter due from Nawanshahr are in trouble in Saudi Arabia. Request your urgent help”.

On which, the External Affairs Minister had asked the Indian Embassy in Riyadh to help. On Friday, Swaraj in a tweet had said that Gurbaksh Kaur is returning to India and her daughter will be brought back soon. “Pursuant to efforts of @IndianEmbRiyadh Gurbux Kaur is reaching India today. The daughter Reena will return soon,” the minister had tweeted. The duo, resident of Garhi Fateh Khan village here, had planned to go to Malaysia but their travel agent had fraudulently sent them to Saudi Arabia and was demanding more money to bring them back.

Narrating her tale of woes in Saudi Arabia, Gurbaksh told media persons that though they had planned to go to Malaysia, a travel agent, Neha, in Delhi told them that they were being sent to Saudi Arabia instead. “My daughter arrived in Saudi Arabia three days after my arrival there. But we were unable to meet each other even once during these past three months and I have no idea of her present condition or location,” she said.

The woman told media persons that they had sold their small piece of land to arrange money for their journey to Malaysia as the agents had assured them a “packing-related job there. “But I was made to do all kinds of menial household chores, sometimes at knife-point,” she said narrating her ordeal. The woman said she was not paid any money for the work she did in a house there. “I was not paid any money for my work and one day the family I worked for turned me out of the house in a burqa and the local police arrested me and put me into the prison saying I had planned to kill the family members,” she said.

Gurbaksh said she met many women like her in the prison. “In jail, I saw many women including some teenage girls from other countries, including Bangladesh, who were treated very badly and were asked to do work which is considered immoral in our society,” the victim said. While Gurbaksh was highly grateful to the governments and media for their role in securing her release, she urged the government to work for securing the safe return of her daughter as well.

SDM Nawanshahr Aditiya Uppal today paid a visit to her house to welcome her on behalf of the district administration. The SDM urged the people to bring to the notice of the administration other such cases, if any, so that arrangements could be made to bring those people back too. He assured the family that the state government was doing its best to bring back Reena also. The SDM expressed hope that she (Reena) too would join her family soon.

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