Bhatkal youth, abandoned by employers in Iran for 19 months, seeks help

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July 19, 2021

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Bhatkal, July 19: A Karnataka youth, who has been working as a seafarer on a cargo ship in Iran has been stranded at the port for more than 19 months. 31-year-old Yaseen Shah, resident of Bhatkal, has not had any contact for the last six months with either the owners of the ship or the agency that got him the job. The situation has forced Yaseen Shah to live near the dock of the Khorramshahr port in Iran.

Yaseen landed in Iran in January 2020 and started working as a seafarer on a cargo ship that was anchored at Iran port. But the ship never left the anchor though movement of other cargo ships had resumed after the pandemic situation had improved.

With no VISA in hand, not paid salary for the entire one year, Yaseen tried everything he could do to get his due.

“I have loaned nearly Rs 6 lakh to get a degree and reach Iran. I have also paid money to the agency which offered me a job as a seafarer for 200 $ per month. But when I reached Iran the agreement was changed by the Iranian agency. Most of the Indians who come here as seafarers are often duped as the agreement will be in the Parsian language. As I knew little but of Parsian I objected to the agreement letter which stated that my salary is now 150 dollars. As I was in need of money I agreed to the job, but still I was not paid after one year,” Yaseen Shah was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.

“For the last six months I have not even been offered any ration or assistance from the ship owners and the agency. I have been eating food from the other ships that are docked in the port. The company offered me an air ticket to India six months ago but refused to pay my wages for an entire year. I decided to stay and fight as many Indian boys are being duped this way. A man from Tamil Nadu took the air ticket and left India without worrying about the unpaid wages. I have contacted the Indian consulate and other organisations explaining the plight of seafarers,” he said.

Several organisations from India and abroad have been trying to help Yaseen. Shirali Shaikh Muzaffer, Founder President of Aim India Forum said that a contact was established with the Indian Embassy in Iran.

“But so far it's not been helpful. The officials have asked us to consult the shipping company owners. The company has three partners who are having a rift due to which many seafarers including Yaseen are not paid their wages. We have also provided the details and contact numbers of agents and ship owners to the Embassy. We are demanding early intervention from the Ministry of External Affairs so that a stranded Indian can be brought back to his home with his wages paid,” he said.

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coastaldigest.com news network
July 24,2021

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After around three months of consistent efforts, Mrs Sabiha, one of the two distressed women from Karnataka who were tortured by their sponsor for a prolonged period, finally touched down in India on Thursday July 22. She originally hails from Tumakuru district of Karnataka.

Mrs Sabiha boarded the flight on Thursday at Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport bound to Cochin International Airport at 8am (IST:10.30am) after her one month's stay under the shelter of Consulate General of India-Jeddah, she reached her hometown safely on July 23 before noon. 

All the legal formalities were completed about 10 days ago at Jawazaath in Jeddah Semaishi. However, due to the ticket issue that was supposed to be provided by the CGI Jeddah under ICWF provision, her departure was bit delayed. Even in the end, after repeated requests, she was not provided with the ticket by the CGI Jeddah putting the burden on the woman, who was already in the tight spot and penniless due to her sponsor's harassment and duping. Even after the persistent requests, the CGI had denied the ticket for her. 

Meanwhile, a businessman and philanthropist Mr Mustaq Ahmed Bengaluru in Jubail came forward voluntarily to sponsor the flight ticket for her after knowing her distressed and helpless situation.

The earliest flight directly to India (Cochin) from Jeddah was on July 22, so the ticket was sponsored to book the flight on the date to fly to Cochin.

At last, Sabiha reached her destination and breathed a sigh of relief after going through pains meted out against her by her sponsor, Saad Rahil Mukhlef Al-Anaizi based in Al Qurayath, northern part of Saudi Arabia, bordering to Jordan. 

Sabiha arrived in the KSA three years ago in 2018 on visit visa arranged by agents in Bengaluru and Mumbai under the sponsorship of Saad Al-Anaizi whom the agents know very well. She didn't know even the status of her visa as a visit (for 90 days), which doesn't allow her to work in the KSA as per the visit visa rule. Either it should have been renewed for a further period of time or visitor should have left the country before the visa expiry. But, either of the processes were not done by the sponsor and she was forced to work as a housemaid at his house. 

She faced her first problem from her Sponsor when she was sent to another family's house to work as a housemaid. She was hesitant to go there, but she was compelled to do so. After sometimes, she came back to her sponsor's house, where she continued to work helplessly even after the passing of 2years.

Due to this, she had to face severe tortures at his hands, she was neither allowed to go to India nor go outside of the sponsor's confined home despite of her repeated & consistent requests nor given salaries for about 9 months. 

She contacted Riyadh-based pro bono lawyer and social worker Adv. P.A. Hameed Padubidri for help through Mrs. Fairoza Banu, who was another woman, who was victimized by the same sponsor for the help. 

Firstly, Adv. P.A.Hameed tried to resolve the case through mutual talks with the sponsor, but it failed. He then took up the case with the Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) in AlJouf branch & Ministry of External Affairs, Delhi & the Indian Embassy in Riyadh. 

By taking up the case immediately on the list in May, 2021, the HRC contacted Adv. Padubidri to gather more details & background of the case. The HRC then forwarded the complaint to the concerned authorities  including police station in AlQurayath.The Embassy also involved based on the complaint & trailing communique of the MoEA, Delhi. 

With the intervention of all these agencies including Jawazaath (Directorate of Passport Dept), her sponsor agreed to send her together with Mrs. Fairoza Banu Dawanagere to India. He was also fined heavily for violating the visa rule of the KSA. 

First he sent Fairoza Banu to India via Riyadh-Qatar-Bengaluru in June 22, with valid flight tickets, passport & final exit paper & she reached Bengaluru KG Intl.Airport last month without much difficulties. 

However, Sabiha was duped by her sponsor sending her to Jeddah Intl. Airport with invalid dummy ticket that too without final exit document after getting her signature in the bus station at AlQurayath as if she had received all outstanding salaries & no dues from him although it's unpaid.  

When she reached the Jeddah airport, she came to know that she was mercilessly cheated by him. Finally, she landed at seeking the help of Indian Consulate (CGI) in Jeddah & remained there under the shelter of the CGI for one month until all the legal processes were facilitated by the authorities & she reached Jeddah airport on 22/07/2021 at 4am (Saudi time) to board the flight to India at 8am. 

She reached Cochin Airport on Thursday at 5.30 pm (IST) & she touched down her home place in Tumakuru, around 80 kms away from Bengaluru & now she joined with her family. 

With this, now both the ladies reached their respective home places in Karnataka with the great efforts of Adv. Padubidri with the supports of other two social workers in the KSA.

Adv. Padubidri expressed his immense amounts of thanks to AlQurayath- based social worker, Saleem Kodangalluru- Kerala, Dammam-based Social worker & senior resident, Yaseen Gulbarga for their very supports & constant cooperations since the day one. 

Adv. Padubidri also expressed his thanks to Mr. Mustaq Ahmed Bengaluru, who voluntarily offered the flight ticket for Sabiha, Mr. Mohammed Ahmed Mysore in Jeddah, Sirajuddeen TN Jeddah, Fazal Makkah, Mr. Majeed B.K.Riyadh, Yasser Ahmed Mulky Riyadh, Farook Manipal Jeddah & others, who supported in his endeavour to facilitate the return of distressed woman.

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Adv. P.A. Hameed Padubidri 

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Taher Ansar Khan
 - 
Saturday, 24 Jul 2021

Lots of respect to all who helped to woman reach her home... especially Mushtaq Ahmed Bangalore who sponsored free ticket to the woman...lots of respect and big salute musthaq Ahmed

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News Network
July 22,2021

Bengaluru, July 22: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa Thursday said he was ready to accept any decision made by the BJP high command after July 26, when he completes two years in office. 

"BJP has not allowed anyone above the age of 75 to be in power anywhere in the entire country. Yet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda have shown special concern towards me," the 78-year-old Chief Minister said. 

"I will complete two years as CM on July 26. I will abide by any decision taken by the high command," he said, suggesting his preparedness to go. 

Yediyurappa's remarks came amidst strong speculations of imminent change in state leadership as soon as he completes two years in office. The BJP government has planned a programme to highlight its 2-year achievement on July 26.

Yediyurappa had not issued any media statements over the last two days as he huddled with seers of various mutts. This was interpreted as a show of strength as prominent seers pressed for the continuation of Yediyurappa as CM for the full term.

He advised party leaders and workers against issuing any statements favouring his continuation in the top post. "My aim is to strengthen the party in the coming days and bring it back to power (in Karnataka)," he said. 

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News Network
July 27,2021

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Three-time legislator Basavaraj Bommai is Karnataka’s new chief minister, a decision the BJP took Tuesday keeping in mind several factors, including the long-pending demand for the post to be occupied by someone from north Karnataka.

Bommai, 61, is expected to take oath as the state’s 26th chief minister on Wednesday. 

With under two years to go for the 2023 elections, the BJP found a safe bet in Bommai as he ticked enough boxes: He is a Lingayat, the party’s traditional support base. He represents Shiggaon in Haveri, a north Karnataka district and he comes with prior administrative experience. He is known to maintain a cordial relationship with leaders from all parties. 

A mechanical engineer, Bommai’s name was upheld in the BJP Legislature Party meeting whose proceedings were overseen by Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and G Kishan Reddy. 

A former minister of Water Resources and Home Departments, Bommai is seen as a trusted aide of outgoing Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, also a Lingayat. But unlike Yediyurappa, who belongs to the Ganiga sub-sect, Bommai is a Sadar-Lingayat, which is not a dominant group within the Lingayats. 

Bommai, the son of former chief minister SR Bommai, joined the BJP in 2008 after starting his political career with the Janata Dal.

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