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1700 Indian workers arrested or deported from Kuwait: Govt

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New Delhi: About 1700 Indian workers who were arrested and deported by Kuwaiti authorities were found violating visa or residency laws of that country, government said today. “There is no problem in the case of people who have valid work visa as their problems are solved under the agreements (with foreign countries),” Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh said during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha. However, the task becomes difficult when workers reach foreign countries on tourist visas and then get them converted to work visas “through dubious means”, he said. It is also not possible to keep records of all such people but added that the government reaches out to assist all its citizens promptly if they are found to be in a problem in a foreign land, Singh said. He said the government was sensitive to the needs of its workers and has “effective” agreements with many Gulf countries including Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to ensure their safety. The minister said the government has already set up an Indian Workers Resource Centre in Dubai and will set up two more in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. Singh said he and his senior Minister Sushma Swaraj actively check their twitter accounts to reach out to any person needing assistance, while missions abroad were also sensitive to problems faced by any citizen. He said with the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs now merged with MEA, there was more coordinated effort in this regard. PTI

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