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Plea in SC seeks repatriation of Indian migrant workers languishing in detention camps in Kuwait

The plea said that Kuwait had granted general amnesty to all those, who do not have valid residency permits in the country, due to the difficulties faced on account of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Published: 12th May 2020 03:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th May 2020 03:44 PM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (File Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre to make arrangement for repatriation of Indian migrant workers, who were granted general amnesty by Kuwait amid COVID-19 pandemic and are living in vulnerable conditions in detention camps there.

The plea said that Kuwait had granted general amnesty to all those, who do not have valid residency permits in the country, due to the difficulties faced on account of the COVID-19 outbreak.

It claimed that those granted general amnesty in Kuwait were initially given time till April 30 to make arrangements for leaving the country, failing which they would be subjected to imprisonment.

"However, due to the current lockdown which is in place and international travel restrictions due to outbreak of pandemic COVID-19, the petitioners and similarly placed expats who are beneficiaries of the general amnesty granted by state of Kuwait are unable to return to India and are languishing in detention camps in the state of Kuwait," the plea, filed by four Indian citizens who are in Kuwait, said.

"The detention camps in which the petitioners and around 3,000 similarly placed Indian migrant workers are lodged presently are overcrowded lacking basic amenities including medical facilities in case of emergency," the plea, filed through advocate Jose Abraham, said.

It said that due to space crunch in such camps, social distancing is impossible and this makes the petitioners as well as similarly placed Indian citizens vulnerable to coronavirus infection.

The plea claimed that Kuwait has offered to send back the petitioners along with other similarly placed people to India free of cost and by its own civil airlines.

It has sought a direction to the Centre and other concerned authorities to facilitate flights offered by Kuwait to land at Indian airports.

It has also sought a direction to the government to take appropriate steps to ensure that adequate food, medicines, quarantine and emergency service facilities are made available to such Indians languishing in detention camps in Kuwait.

It alleged that the petitioners have sent representation to various officials, including the External Affairs Minister and other officials at Indian Embassy in Kuwait, but no action has been taken to repatriate them back to India.

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