KUWAIT: Hundreds of panic-stricken Indian expat workers gathered on the Indian embassy premises yesterday seeking the embassy’s help in securing either release or information of people who were arrested during a raid in Bneid Al- Gar last week. The workers numbering over 300 and residing mainly in Bneid Al- Gar complained to the embassy that hundreds of people were arrested during the raid last week in the Capital governorate as part of the ongoing crackdown on illegal residents in the country. They complained to the embassy officials that there was no information about them after the arrest. “It is not fair.
We are not illegal residents. We have valid residencies. Still, many of us were arrested,” said a worker on condition of anonymity, who hailed from the state of Rajasthan in India. Acting Ambassador Vidhu P Nair informed Kuwait Times that he spoke to the people and held separate talks with their representatives in his office.
The acting ambassador is scheduled to meet with the consular director at the Kuwait Foreign Ministry at 11am today. “In this case, the embassy has certain limitations. However, I will take up their case also during my meeting today,” he said. Nair said the embassy is unable to give an exact number of Indians being deported so far as it is not provided by the authorities. “Our assessment is based on the number of emergency certificates (out-passes) being issued by us to the people without passports,” he said.
He said the embassy has requested the authorities to provide it with required information on people being arrested and deported. The acting ambassador informed that embassy officials visited detained Indians at deportation centers yesterday. The embassy is also in constant touch with foreign ministry officials in New Delhi. According to the present residency law in Kuwait, people who enter the country on Article 20 visas are permitted to work only under their sponsors.
Many sponsors allegedly take an amount ranging from KD 500 to KD 700 per visa as their fee. In several cases, the sponsors do not offer jobs to the expats, compelling them to find jobs elsewhere. In certain cases, the sponsors abandon the workers after a year or two, leaving them in the lurch