Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 27: Three Kerala youth who managed to escape from their employer’s stronghold in Saudi Arabia, after intervention from Indian embassy, reveal astonishing facts about the modern-day slavery racket being operated in Saudi Arabia. The 3 men from Alappuzha district – Baiju Babu (29), Vimal Kumar (30), Abhilash Gopi (21) were roped in by a Kerala-based recruiter Shamsad Rasheed, assuring them “technical jobs”. However, later, on reaching the Abha city in Saudi Arabia, their passports were confiscated and they were forced to work as labourers in brick manufacturing units. Also Read - Sushma Swaraj's Statue to be Installed in Vidisha: MP CM on Former EAM's Birth Anniversary
“He ((the Saudi employer) would spit on our face and abuse us for silly reasons. Other employees at the unit came from Pakistan and Bangladesh, and they had no option but to suffer the torture,” said Babu, while speaking to the Sunday Express. (ALSO READ: Indian workers tortured in Saudi reaches Kerala after External Affairs Ministry intervenes) Also Read - Remembering Sushma Swaraj: PM Modi Pays Tribute to Forgone Leader Who Was 'India's Voice at World Stage'
The trio, along with other sub-continental employees were forced to work from 6 AM in the morning to 7 PM in the evening. Only an hour was provided to them at noon, to prepare food. Also Read - 'Abrogation of Article 370 India's Internal Matter, Other Nations Have no Business,' Says Venkaiah Naidu
“During discussions in Kerala, Rasheed had promised he would take me home if I faced trouble. But when I wanted to return, Rasheed threatened that I would be trapped in criminal cases and eventually land in jail,” Babu said explaining how they had no other option but to work like bonded labours in the brick production unit.
Describing in detail, their journey back home, the trio recalled the incident of nearly 14-days back, when they attempted to enter inside the office of their Saudi employer and plead to him to grant them their passport and allow them to leave. However, the boss told them to leave the office and enter later in proper manners. On seeing them still waiting outside his cabin, he got enraged and started beating them with stick. While two of them were being thrashed by the Saudi national, Kumar, stood at the back and took footage of the incident in his mobile phone.
The videos were then forwarded to families back home in Kerala. And the pressure mounted by media and a swift course of action adopted by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj ensured the recovery of the trapped Keralaites.