The company demanded an apology after the video went viral online. He was sent out of jail only to be arrested again the next day

 Karnataka worker detained in Saudi for detailing inhuman working conditions on YouTubeImage: Abdul Sattar Makandar
news Monday, March 21, 2016 - 18:12

A Saudi worker from Karnataka has been detained twice in a matter of 24 hours by police in Saudi Arabia for spreading “misinformation” through a YouTube video, in which he claims to be harassed by his employer. 

Thirty-five-year-old Abdul Sattar Makandar’s family, who live in Hasan Maad village in Dandeli (rural) in Uttara Kannada district, are shaken by the video and its aftermath, and want him to return.

Abdul has been working for Al Suroor United group for 23 months. He pleaded for his rescue through a video that was published by Delhi-based activist Kundan Srivastav on Youtube on March 14, 2016.

A sobbing Abdul talks about being made to work more and being paid less than he was promised, and that too after much delay. He also claims that he is not given breaks between work and has been made to work for long hours.

The video went viral on social media after activist Kundan Srivastav published it on his Facebook page.

 

However, Abdul was arrested on March 15 and was released briefly after Kundan Srivastav posted an apology message by Abdul on March 17. He was arrested again on early hours of March 18.

“After Kasturi, whose hands were allegedly chopped off by her Saudi employer, returned to India in October 2015, it is only natural for other workers who were shaken by the incident to want to return home,” says activist Kundan Srivastav who has received more than 100 rescue requests from Indian workers in Saudi since October.

Noor Jahan, Abdul’s mother told The News Minute that her son had not sent any money for the last three months. “It is not easy to manage a family of six with the Rs 5000- Rs 10,000 that he used to send. This money he can earn here too,” she said. The whole family lives in fear that he might be kept in prison forever if the government doesn’t act.Akif Sheik, Abdul’s friend, who also works in Riyadh as a project manager, said that Abdul also wants to come back because he doesn’t like the work he is doing. “He claims that they duped him by giving him a job of a driver when the job profile he applied for was something different.”

 

 
I met Abdul Sattar Makandar's family member including his moth...

[#OperationMadad] I met Abdul Sattar Makandar's family member including his mother, wife and four little children yesterday in his village Karnataka.Sharing their pain with you through the video. After the successful rescue of two brothers Feroz and Joshi Khan, Abdul reached out to me for help on 10th March. I am still working for Abdul constantly for eight days and beleive he will come back to India soon. Abdul Sattar Makandar has been trapped & jailed by Saudi company Al Suroor United Group, Emails and phone calls to Abdul's company didn't receive any response. Abdul's plight made it to the headlines of The Huffingtom Post and the BBC world service.I received many people messages who are trapped by Saudi and will work for them. I would like to request everyone who is trapped by Saudi Arabian, contact me as soon as possible through messages.Attempts by The Hindu and myself contact the Ministry of External Affairs & Sushma Swaraj in Delhi failed. I urge every human being, come forward to support me to save Abdul Sattar Makandar's life.

Posted by Kundan Srivastava on Sunday, March 20, 2016

 

“On Saturday, he sent me message on WhatsApp saying he is in jail and is desperately looking for help to come back home,” Akif said.

Abdul was recruited by an Indian agency called Discomb Gulf Travels, which claims that the driver was paid on time and they were not aware of his unhappiness until the video surfaced.

Riyaz Batey, managing director of Discomb said that they possessed bank statements that proved that Makandar was paid on time.

 

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