Rescued migrant workers seek govt support for rehabilitation

Kathmandu, January 31

Ten Nepali migrant workers rescued recently after being imprisoned for seven years in Boamann Central Jail of Jeddah of Saudi Arabia today met Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and requested for compensation so that they could lead a normal life by setting up small-scale enterprises.

Altogether 11 Nepali migrant workers were arrested on allegations of murder of an Indian national in Jeddah in February 2010 and one of the migrant workers named Umesh Shrestha from Madhuban, Sunsari, died after suffering physical torture in the jail.

“We faced intolerable physical and mental torture in the Saudi jail and the court finally issued a verdict in our favour as the Saudi police failed to prove we were guilty,” Bhim Prasad Chimoriya, one of the victims told Prime Minister Dahal. “Despite repeated attempts by his family members since the last few years, they have not been handed over the corpse of our friend, who died in the Saudi jail.”

All the 10 migrant workers returned to Nepal in December, last year. Today, in the meeting with Prime Minister Dahal, they also sought support from the government as they had to spend the prime of their life in a Saudi jail and still need to repay the loans they had taken to go to Saudi Arabia.

Reportedly all of them wound up working for companies other than what they were promised here and their job description and salary also varied significantly.

They also complained to the prime minister that they had not received any support from the office of labour attaché in Jeddah and Nepali embassy in Riyadh when they were sentenced to jail some seven years back.

Apart from Chimoriya, who hails from Morang, other rescued workers who met the prime minister today included Bhakta Bahadur Darjee from Butwal, Shree Kumar Rai from Bhojpur, Krishna Bahadur Damai from Nawalparasi, Som Bahadur Tamang from Rasuwa, Chakra Bahadur Gurung from Sunsari, Kesh Nepali from Tanahu, Bir Bahadur Budathoki from Okhaldhunga, Ram Tamang from Nuwakot and Dipendra Sharma from Jhapa.

Prime Minister Dahal assured them that the government would do its level best to provide support for their rehabilitation and would also seek compensation from the Saudi government for putting innocent people behind bars for seven years.