Kerala Youths Beaten Up in Saudi: Sushma Swaraj Intervenes

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Wednesday intervened on behalf of three men from Kerala who were allegedly tortured and held captive by their Saudi employer. After her intervention, Indian officials in Saudi Arabia got in touch with the authorities to secure protection for the three workers.

When most Keralites fly abroad, especially to Gulf countries, they go with high hopes and dream of a decent remuneration and a better life. But the reality they face is often much different from what they had in mind.

The situation of three people from Kerala was no different. A horrifying video of three Indians being beaten brutally with a wooden plank by their Saudi employer has gone viral on social media. The men had forwarded the video to their family members back home and appealed for help.

The video evoked strong reactions and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday promised to take action against this mistreatment. She also said that they have been given police protection. Sushma tweeted, “We have approached the police and got them police protection. We will follow this up”.

In a second tweet she said they will be back in India within a week.

The three men, B Vimal Kumar (30), Abhilash Gopi (30) and Byju Babu (26), who hail from Harippad town in North Kerala were given false promises by recruiting agents and were sent to Abha in Saudi Arabia to work as mechanics and electricians.

However, once there, they were forced to do menial jobs and work in brick manufacturing units and were kept without proper food and accommodation. They were promised a salary of Rs 45,000 and had paid Rs 1lakh for air tickets and visa. Their sponsor asked for 10,000 rials (Rs 1,76,000) to return their passports.

Last October an Indian domestic help, 55-year-old Kasturi Munirathinam, had her right arm allegedly severed by her employer in Riyadh. The Riyadh police had then claimed that she had lost her arm due to a fall from a building and it was not cut off by her employer as she claimed.