Droves of Keralites travel to Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia every year, with stars in their eyes, in search of better job opportunities and higher remuneration. But, for a group of 3 persons from Kerala, the reality on the ground has turned out to be far different, as a distressing video showing their plight has emerged.
In the Whatsapp video, a Saudi employer, typically garbed in an all-white dress, can be seen beating the men with a wooden plank, as if herding a group of animals into an enclosure.
The video was taken by one of the men through the camera of his phone, which was kept hidden in his shirt pocket.
The 3 men got conned by a placement agency, which gave false job promises and sent them to Saudi Arabia, where they were allegedly attacked by their employer.
B Vimal Kumar (30) and Abhilash Gopi (30) from Muttom near Haripad along with Byju Babu (26) from Arattupuzha were sent to Abha in Saudi Arabia to work as mechanics and electricians. However after reaching there, their parents have revealed that they were forced to work in brick manufacturing units and were kept without food and accommodation.
"Since the torture was unbearable, they ran away from the workplace. They were asked to do construction works, but they are actually mechanics. Now they stay in the shop of a Keralite hiding from their sponsor. Shamzad calls and threatens them saying that they would be killed. Vimal is 30 years old and has a 2-year-old child. He was a geyzer mechanic. His father died when he was young and the financial situation was not good. That is why he went, otherwise I would not have let him go," Vimal's mother, Omana says.
The family members of the victims have approached the Kayamkulam police for help. K N Vinod Kumar, a police officer stationed at the Arattupuzha police station, has been dismissed for his alleged involvement in the incident, said Kayamkulam circle inspector K S Udayabhanu.
The men were promised a salary of Rs 45,000 and also had to part with Rs 1 lakh as fee for air tickets and visa.
"Abhilash went there on December 4, since the time they reached there, the torture began. One person, Shamzad, a native of Arattupuzha, took them there offering a mechanic’s job in a company. They were taken to a different company, not the company where they were originally offered jobs from Kerala. Their sponsor beats them everyday. Abhilash is just a 21-year-old who had many dreams. He wanted to look after us well, so he went there. Now he wants to escape from there somehow. Shamzad is asking 10000 riyals to give his passport back. One day Shamzad threw them out from a room where they stayed. Then, they spent days without food, water and did not even have clothes to change. This video they sent on Friday," Abhilash's sister, Anju says.
Here is the video.