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April 25, 2018
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Migrants allege exploitation by Telangana ‘agents’ in SaudiOver 100 Telangana workers claim they weren’t paid for more than six months

Yet another instance of exploitation of Telangana workers in the Gulf countries has surfaced. This time, more than 100 victims hailing from Nizamabad, Jagtial and Rajanna-Sircilla districts, are pointing the finger at two fellow Telangana men.

Nearly 50 of them, who assembled at Jagitial town on Wednesday and presented a petition to the district Superintendent of Police Anantha Sharma, said two agents Simmalla Madhu and Ramesh, cheated them to the tune of lakhs of rupees.

Both the persons in question live in Riyadh of Saudi Arabia and operate a manpower consultancy there. The duo are alleged to have approached persons from Telangana working for different companies in Saudi Arabia and throwing them the bait of better jobs and pay.

They allegedly collected money ranging between ₹1 lakh to ₹3 lakh from each person to provide them these jobs.

“For one year, I got my salary regularly, as assured. They showed their true colors when payment of our salaries got postponed six months ago,” Marripelly Shankar, one of the victims, told The Hindu over the phone.

Intimidation alleged

Forty-year-old Shankar of Sircilla town studied up to sixth standard and went to Saudi Arabia with ‘Azad’ visa for work. He said that he had paid ₹2.5 lakh to Madhu for offering him a job as a driver. It was not just the refusal to pay salaries, but intimidation and beating up of workers who insisted for their salaries, that disturbed Shankar. “Madhu engaged some locals of Riyadh to threaten us for raising our voice over the pending payments. Some were detained and beaten up also,” he charged.

Equally pathetic is the story of Manyapu Ramulu of Gopalraopalle in Tangelapally mandal of the same district, who went to work in Saudi Arabia nearly three years ago.

After working as fitter with a company, he was baited by Madhu in the name of better pay.

As the salary was not paid, he approached the company, only to be told that Madhu was responsible for their payments as he had hired Ramulu. Eventually, Ramulu felt that he would not get his salary.

“We pleaded with him to at least buy us tickets to fly back to India, but in vain. My family borrowed ₹25,000 from a financier at an interest of 2% to secure me a ticket,” he said in a choked voice.

Mohd. Qadir, 32, from Mallur of Balkonda in Nizamabad district too was not paid his salary for six months.

In the past six months, these three men along with over 50 others have been forced to put up their own money and return to their homes.

They claim that at least 100 other people have been similarly lured by Madhu and are stuck in Riyadh.