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Over Hundred Indian Workers protest in front of Embassy

On December 16, 2007

Kuwait City: Dec 12
Abubakar A. Ibrahim

Over a Hundred Indian workers on Wednesday staged a protest in front of the Indian Embassy to air their grievances against their company which allegedly ordered their arrest.

Four armed policemen on Tuesday raided the apartment of the workers where they assaulted and arrested 29 workers. The protesters claimed that the arrest was a retaliated for a case they filed two months ago against the company for the non-payment of their salaries, breach of contract and other malpractices. Reportedly the Indian Embassy has filed a case against the company at the Labor Court

Indicating they sought refuge at the Embassy for fear of being arrested like their colleagues, the protesters said the company also failed to provide them with comfortable living quarters. They earlier staged a demonstration to demand a suitable accommodation wherein the Embassy intervened and rented an apartment for them. In the last two months the workers have been staying in the apartment rented by the Embassy at KD 500 a month. Some of the employees said they want to go back home as there is no use working without a salary. They also disclosed that some of them have not received their salaries for over year while others for seven months.

When asked why the workers were arrested Attorney Nasser Baser AL Mutairi, the workers lawyer said the company filed cases of absconding against the workers and told the police that the workers were carrying expired residence permits.

On the unpaid salaries of the workers, Al Mutairi said the case was forwarded to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor and a hearing is scheduled for Dec 24th.

On the other hand V.K Mahajan, official spokesperson of the Indian Embassy said “The Embassy has full control of the issue. We arranged a dialogue between the company officials and the workers to reach an amicable settlement but the recent events have obstructed our efforts. We will exhaust all means to solve the issue."

Meanwhile, a reliable source told the Arab times the Embassy sent its lawyer and officials to Fintas police station to request for the release of the 29 Workers.