29 Indian workers repatriated to India
KABUL (Pajhwok): A group of 29 Indian workers returned to India on Monday after being rescued by local authorities from Afghan Folad Company, a steel-manufacturing plant based in western Herat Industrial Park, a statement said.
These distressed workers were rescued from the factory premises yesterday and were provided accommodation, food, air tickets and incidental expenses by the Consulate to facilitate their return to India.
In February 2015, 63 Indians working in Afghan Folad had complained to the Consulate regarding non-payment of salaries and withholding of passports by the employer.
The matter was immediately taken up with the company owner, Abdullah Rasuli, who admitted that despite financial difficulties faced by the company they would clear all dues of the workers.
He also requested for staggered departure of Indian workers to avoid complete shutdown of the company which was agreed to by the Indian workers and the local authorities who mediated.
Accordingly, the Consulate of India facilitated return of 28 persons to India during February-April 2015. The company paid all their arrears and also provided air tickets to them.
The company was, however, unable to provide a timeframe for clearance of due salaries of remaining 35 Indian workers and delayed their departure. In the meantime, living conditions in factory premises also deteriorated with disconnection of electricity supply last month.
Six Indian workers had to leave for India in July 2015 due to medical exigencies, without receiving their salaries. In absence of any positive response from the company, local authorities advised the Consulate to send Indian workers back to India after filing of legal proceedings against the debtor company.
All Indian workers were evacuated from company premises on 23 August 2015 and they have filed a complaint against the company in local court for recovery of the past salaries of the 35 Indian workers.
The Consulate appreciated the assistance received from Herat Governor, Police Chief and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Representative Office in facilitating return of Indian workers.
The Consulate, with assistance of local authorities, will pursue the legal case for full recovery of due salaries of these workers, the statement concluded.
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