Expat recalls rescue of 3 trafficked Kerala women

Very few such incidents come to light because the majority of women suffer the brutalities in silence even without informing their family members.

Published: 15th June 2022 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th June 2022 05:00 AM   |  A+A-

Habeeb T T

Express News Service

KOCHI: Rescuing the three Kerala women, who were trafficked to Kuwait and later held captive at a remote place by a racket, wasn’t an easy task for Habeeb T T, a native of Kayalam in Kozhikode who has been working in the Gulf country for the last 18 years. He was the first to receive information about the plight of the women after the husband of one of them in Kochi called up Habeeb’s friend working in Kozhikode airport and sought his help to rescue his wife.

Habeeb immediately contacted his friends Rafeeque T P of Cheruvathur and Sharafu Chittaripilakkil. They located the room where the women were kept locked up, based on the location details shared by the woman with her husband on the mobile phone. They also found the office of M K Gassali called Zaid Zhaar Al-Dawa, a manpower recruiting agency in Kuwait, which was used as a cover for trafficking women from India.

“We were shocked to find that the women were kept in a tiny room without proper food and water. We knew that it was not easy to confront the racket and rescue the women. As Rafeeque and Sharafu are members of Oruma and Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), they used their influence and network to get the women released,” said Habeeb.

“When the racket found that we reached the spot only because of the location details shared by one of the women, they assaulted all women,” said Habeeb. Sharafu said they had to physically confront the racket members led by kingpin Gassali, who refused to release the women. “They knew that we had strong influence in Kuwait and Kerala and they could land in trouble if they didn’t cooperate with us. They sensed bigger damage and decided to free the women before the issue escalated and grabbed more attention,” said Sharafu.

Though Gassali agreed to release the women, he wasn’t ready to pay any money to the women for the days they had toiled at the houses of Kuwaiti families. “The women didn’t have money even to buy a cup of tea. We raised money for their food and other needs,” said Sharafu.  Sharafu, who has been living in Kuwait for over 15 years, said trafficking of women from Kerala to Kuwait to be sold as bonded labourers has increased in the recent past.

“These rackets are run by Malayalis with the help of inside support from various government departments in Kuwait. These women are brought without any proper documents and sold to Kuwaiti families as labourers for a specific period of time,” he said, adding only very few such incidents come to light because of majority of the women suffer the brutality in silence even without informing their family members back home.


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