KOLKATA: The case has come to light here of an automobile engineer held as a slave and subjected to sexual and physical abuse by his employer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for the past seven months.
Jayanta Biswas, the 23-year-old automobile engineer from Mamudpur in Naihati in North 24 Parganas district, landed in Riyadh on May 15 this year after paying three Delhi-based agents Rs 5.35 lakh, which he raised by selling off his ancestral agricultural land. The agents told him he would be paid a salary of Rs 30,000 per month.
However, he soon found that the promise was a lie. He and other youngsters from Bangladesh and India were confined in a room in the house of their Saudi kafeel (employeer), Naeef Bookme.
“He (Jayanta) used to call me and cry that he and other boys were being beaten up regularly by the employer and no food was given. He revealed that he was being sexually abused regularly,” Jayanta’s elder sister Ria Biswas told New Indian Express.
Jayanta tried to escape captivity in August and went to the Indian Embassy in Riyadh but was denied any help there. When the employer Naeef found Jayanta missing, he accused him of theft of 10,000 riyals and booked a case with the Saudi police. Jayanta was arrested on August 9 and jailed till October end.
After his release, Jayanta again went to the Indian Embassy. This time, he was heard, but he was asked to bring a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the employer to return to India.
When he returned to his employer’s house, he was tortured again. “His employer is continuously threatening him with death and now is demanding 3,500 riyals to let him go. We are scared because of Saudi laws have a reputation of cutting off hands, limbs or ears,” Ria said.
Jayanta’s brother Uttam Biswas has tweeted the case to the External Affairs Ministry and to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. Other relatives have written letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and to the website madad.com, which aids Indians stuck abroad.
“If we do not get any response from the government within two days, our locality dwellers will launch an agitation demanding the return of my brother,” Ria added.
After securing an engineering degree from a private polytechnic college in Raiganj in North Dinajpur district in 2014, Jayanta worked for six months at a private firm in Dehradun. He was then introduced by a friend to agent Muneer Ahmed of Al Hamid Manpower Consultancy and two other agents H M Sadiq and Tabrez Alam in Delhi.