450 Indian workers trapped in Saudi Arabia jail rescued

Hyderabad: As many as 450 Indian workers who were trapped in a Saudi Arabian jail for the last four months because they couldn’t return home due to coronavirus lockdown were rescued on Saturday by the Ministry of External Affairs.

Today 231 Indians have been deported from Riyadh to Chennai and another 361 will be traveling from Jeddah to Cochin on September 26 night. Among them, 450 Indians were in Shumaisi jail, a Deportation Centre in Saudi Arabia for the last four months. They were arrested by Saudi authorities for overstaying and begging on roads which is prohibited in Saudi Arabia. They were helpless and were begging in Saudi due to lockdown.

These Indians appealed social activist and Majlis Bachao Tahreek (MBT) spokesperson Amjad Ullah Khan who highlighted their plight with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar External Affairs Minister for their speedy repatriation from Shumaisi jail of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

Amjad Ullah Khan shared their ordeal through videos on Twitter and said that the workers lost their jobs and their visa had expired due to which they were taken to jail for repatriation. However, on September 19 the Consulate General of Indian in Jeddah replied to Amjad Ullah Khan which he had shared on social media that the “Consulate General of India in Jeddah is aware of the issue. They have been following up since the beginning. The matter is being given the highest attention by the Consulate as well as the Embassy of Indian in Riyadh, said in an email to Amjad Ullah Khan. “We are pleased to inform you that flights are likely to operate very soon to send Indian deportees to India.”

However, on Saturday, over 450 Indians were rescued from Shumaisi jail, the Minister for External Affairs Dr Subramanyam Jaishankar, Hardeep Singh Puri who is Minister for Civil Aviation Govt of India and the Indian Embassy in Riyadh pursed with the Saudi Arabian government officials and took necessary steps to bring back 450 Indians languishing in jail via flights.