PM positive for relief to Saudi returnees after murder acquittal

KATHMANDU: Eleven Nepali migrant workers, who languished in a jail in Saudi Arabia for seven years in a murder case, met Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Kathmandu on Tuesday after returning home following their acquittal.

They thanked the Prime Minister for his support in their return, according to a statement issued by the PM's Secretariat.

Saying their personal and family lives were badly hit after they were jailed, the Nepali workers sought support package from the government.

After their acquittal, the Office of the Prime Minister had taken an initiative for their rescue. With the help of the Nepal's Embassy in Saudi Arabia, they had returned home one and half months ago.

One of them, Bhim Prasad Chimariya, expressed his grief over the Embassy's indifference towards the accused when they were arrested seven years ago. "We were meted out with severe mental and physical torture during investigation. We were acquitted of murder charges after years. Had the Embassy officials taken an initiative, we could have been released in a couple of months," he said.

Expressing his sympathy to them, Prime Minister Dahal said the government was working out to collect figures of Nepalis jailed abroad, make an arrangement for seed money, rescue Nepalis stranded after their foreign employers turned bankrupt, and temporary insurance for all Nepali migrant workers.

Prime Minister Dahal said the government was positive towards providing a relief package to them. "Since you were not guilty, efforts would be made through diplomatic channel to provide you with relief package from Saudi government also."

Others include Krishna Bahadur Damai, Bhakta Bahadur Darji, Som Tamang, Ram Bahadur Tamang, Keshab Bahadur Nepali, Shree Kumar Rai, Bir Bahadur Budhathoki, Dipen Sharma, Chakra Bahadur Gurung and Bhim Prasad Chimariya.