Sushma Swaraj asks Embassy to rescue woman harassed in Saudi Arabia

This post was originally published on 25 April 2017.

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday asked the Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia to rescue and repatriate a woman from Hyderabad who has been allegedly facing mental and physical harassment by her sponsor there.

Ms Swaraj’s direction to the Indian embassy officials in Riyadh came after a media report said the woman was deceived by her agents and was now physically harassed by her sponsor.

In a series of tweets, she said, “I have asked Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia to rescue and repatriate her to India at the earliest. I have asked @ProtectorGenGOI to proceed against the agent who sent her to Saudi Arabia.

The victim, 39-year-old Salma Begum from Hyderabad, was allegedly sent to Saudi Arabia by two agents on January 21, 2017 on a housemaid visa, Times of India reported. The two agents have been identified as Akram and Shafi.

After reaching Saudi, Salma allegedly called her daughter in India to inform her of the harassment she is facing and that her kafeel (sponsor) would not let her return to India, despite her wanting to return.

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Her sponsor allegedly paid a sum of Rs 3 lakh for Salma, Financial Express reported.

According to reports, the victim was cheated by her agents who promised her hand in marriage to her kafeel. The harassment began when the victim refused to marry her Saudi sponsor.

The victim’s daughter also alleged that local police in India have so far been apathetic and, despite several complaints, have not yet taken any action against Akram or Shaf

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