news Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 05:30

From left: Savish Singh, Ram Swaroop, Rajesh Kumar and Jabbar Ali Mondal Six months after The News Minute reported on the plight of four Indian sailors stranded in Kuwait and apprising the Indian Embassy in Kuwait of the situation, the situation of the sailors remains ths same, with little progress being made by the Indian government. Four men – Savish Singh from Punjab, Rajesh Kumar from Bihar, Ram Swaroop hailing from Rajasthan and Jabbar Ali Mondal of West Bengal have been stranded in Kuwait for two years as the ship they were sailing in was found to be carrying diesel without customs and receipt. Three of them have been staying at a house in Kuwait, but are not allowed to venture out. The fourth, Savish, is staying with his friends in Kuwait. The four men, a cook, a deck cadet and two helpers, have since maintained that they are innocent and were clueless about the presence of illegal diesel in the ship. The men were recruited by Kuwait-based company Abdul Rahman Mohamad al-Bahar & sons W.L.L in 2013. They were arrested in June 2013. The passports of the sailors were confiscated after their release on bail. Their employers had paid a bail of 100 dinars towards their bail. Assistant Consular Officer B K Sinha told The News Minute on Tuesday that they had visited the Public Prosecutor (PP) of the case two weeks ago to gather details of the investigation. The PP has informed the officials that a report was submitted to the court is likely to take up the case in the coming days. The four sailors, however, say that they are clueless about the developments in the case. “We have been in contact with the Indian Embassy, but they ask us how they can help. We don’t even have a lawyer,” says Savish Singh. In a response dated November 23, 2014, Counsellor for Indian Embassy B K Upadhayay had said, “There is no provision of engaging lawyer by the embassy. The individual has to arranged (sic) their own lawyer.” Kuwait law dictates that every resident in the country must have a civil ID. Since the men have lost all documents, they cannot be given civil ID. Without the possession of the ID, the men can be arrested if they are found outside. For the past two years, the men have not been able to work anywhere, and have no means of income. Three of them have been forced to do menial jobs at the owner’s house and re provided with food in return. A dejected Rajesh says they are waiting to hear something from the company or the Indian Embassy. “It’s been nearly two years. Can you do something to help us?” he asks. Read our previous story: Four Indian sailors under house-arrest in Kuwait for more than a year cry for help

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