25 Indian labourers held captive in Malaysia: NGO

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Kolkata, Nov 9 (IANS) At least 25 Indians, who went to Malaysia as construction labourers in September this year, have been allegedly held captive by the organisations that hired them, a city NGO said on Friday.

The National Anti-Trafficking Committee has sought assistance of the Ministry of External Affairs to rescue the people after receiving video messages from two of the workers.

It has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the state CID, and the Consulate Generals of both the countries to look into the matter.

“Two construction workers from Bengal, Sanjay Mallick and Julfikar Ali Mondol, have sent a message stating they are held captive in Malaysia and pleaded to save their lives,” National Anti-Trafficking Committee SK Jinnar Ali told IANS.

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“They said at least 25 people are locked in a room and are being threatened to be held captive till death,” Ali said.

“The number of stranded workers in Malaysia may further shoot up,” he said.

“In the message, the two said they went to Malaysia on a tourist visa through an agency named Manpower Construction in Bengal’s Gopalnagar, but their passports were snatched away on arriving there… It seems to be human trafficking,” the letter issued by the NGO said.

The letter also claimed that the organisations which hired the workers have demanded hefty amounts from their family members for their release, but did not allow to return them to India despite paying the money.

In the video message, the victims said that they have been kept locked without food for days and pleaded to be rescued immediately.

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One of the workers said he did not get any medical treatment in Malaysia in spite of being ill.

“I am stuck in this room for more than a month. I came here for work. After seven days, I fell ill and was hospitalised. On returning from the hospital, no one enquired about me,” Mallick said in his video plea,” he said.

The National Anti-Trafficking Committee had played a significant role in bringing back home a few goldsmiths stranded in Iran recently.

–IANS

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