25 residents of West Bengal who had migrated to Malaysia for work allege they were exploited and their passports were seized
Kolkata: Around 25 labourers from Bengal, who had been taken to Malaysia as construction workers, were allegedly made to carry heavy construction material and even made to work at casinos, flouting their job description. Some of them managed to contact their family and narrate their plight. The families, with the help of an organisation, are now trying to bring them back to India.
The labourers are from different districts of Bengal, such as North 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Midnapore, and Nadia.
Julfikar Ali Mondal, a 38-year-old resident of Madhupur under Bagda Police Station in North 24 Parganas was offered a job as a construction worker in Malaysia by a company — Manpower Consultants Pvt Ltd. “We had paid Rs 90,000 to the person who had offered him the job and it included payment for air tickets, visa and other paraphernalia. He had left for Malaysia on September 9. Recently, he fell down and fractured his hand and leg. He was being made to carry heavy rods, which was not a part of his job description,” said Julfikar’s mother Jahanara Mondal.
She said that now that he wants to return, his passport has been seized. “We have now got in touch with the members of the National Anti-Trafficking Committee to help my son,” she added. She also said that Julfikar had sent voice messages where he sounded very scared and said that he had been confined to a room and given only one meal a day.
The story of another, Sanjay Mullick, was slightly different. His family members alleged that once there, he was asked to work at a casino. “It was told that he would work as a construction worker. Now he tells us that he is being made to work as an attendant to male customers at a casino. He runs errands and even massages their feet there,” Mullick’s kin said.
SK Jinnar Ali, Chairman of the committee, said they had written to the Ministry of External Affairs and the state government about the problems these people were facing. “They were sent on tourist visa and are being made to work there at one Sky Master Construction Company. Their passports have also been taken away by the local agent there and have been told that if they tried to return, they would return dead. We urge the state and Centre to help these people return,” Jinnar said.
Picture for representation