· Over 2000 arrested for violating VISA laws
· Many indulged in criminal activities
· Indian Embassy not responded yet
The fate of over 2000 people, most of them from Vaagad and Udaipur regions in Rajasthan, detained in Kuwait for alleged illegal employment, criminal activities and fraud is still limping in the courts of Kuwait Immigration Authority and the ‘Kafeel’, the Kuwaiti national, under whose sponsorship the Indian landed there.
According to the sources, at present the enquiry and investigation of the detainees is being conducted by Farwaniya Governorate.
The flash raid came under action at early hours of 20 Sept at Bneid-Al-Gar, also known as Istakala, and the areas of Jleeb-al-Shuyoukh, Abdullah Port, Amghara and Jahara Governorate of Kuwait. These are the regions where a particular segment of Indian non-residents reside, mostly from Southern Rajasthan, also known as ‘vaagad’ region.
According to sources, such raids are common in Kuwait; however the administration acted more strictly this time after series of unlawful activities been noted, like selling country made liquor, drug peddling and selling pan masala etc., breaking Kuwaiti laws which strictly prohibits even the consumption of these products, let apart the businesses.
Many Indian workers, who are detained, are on ‘Khadim’ Visa, which by law, confined them to only work as a house-maid in the house of sponsoring Kuwaiti national. These NRIs have been allegedly, found working in companies, shops or doing small businesses.
Sources also revealed that few months back a Rajasthani was allegedly, involved in a murder of a Kuwaiti. However, there were several versions of his intention to kill.
“There are many people from Rajasthan on Khadim Visa who are making and selling Indian country made liquor in Kuwait. According to the ‘Shariah’ Governance of Kuwait, selling, manufacturing and distributing liquor is strictly prohibited”, says one Indian citizen from Udaipur, who is working in Kuwait from last 40 years.
“We come here for better employment opportunities and at the same time we should also respect the laws of this country”, he said under condition of anonymity.
Indian Embassy of Kuwait, has not responded our several phone calls and emails, yet, our sources confirm that Kuwaiti administration has not shared any personal information of detainees to their Indian counterparts.
Relatives of the arrested people are worried for their wellbeing; local politicians are trying to reach their voice through Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
No updates are available yet, as Kuwait police is still in the process of ‘calling upon the sponsors, who sponsored the visas, to come and testify the identity of their employees’. In case, the Kafeel denies identifying his employee, then he might be deported to India, otherwise, there are procedures of Immigration law of Kuwait.
According to Kuwait Visa Laws, there are three types of working visa available for foreigners, Khadim, Shaoun and Business Visas. Among all, the lowest is Khadim Visa which is granted for House Maid, while Shaun Visa is for employment of all types, Business Visa for investment in Kuwait and apart from these, Family Visa for families of those who are working in Kuwait.
Visa of Khadim is issued/ renewed for at least one year, regardless of its official fee a person pays at least Rs.1 Lac for Khadim Visa to his sponsor or Kafeel. According to sources, official charges for Khadim Visa issue and renewal for 1 year is Khadim visa is only for 20 Kuwait Dinar + 10 K.D. For Medical = 30 K.D. Almostl 5,700 INR.
Likewise, the visa of Shaun can be bought for Rs. 2 Lac, over the actual official fees.
Youth from rural areas who are less educated but aspired to earn good in a foreign land usually opt for opportunities to go to Middle East. Kuwait is one of the easiest and most favorite destinations as the converted currency value is better than any other countries, One Kuwaiti Dinar is almost Rs. 190.
There are around 8-9 lac Kuwaiti citizens in Kuwait, while population of NRIs residing there is more than 5 lac.
In Udaipur people from many communities, including Bohras, Muslims and some Hindu communities are working in Kuwait from last many decades.
Information also contributed by: Mikdad Hussain