Saudi Arabia deports NRC protesters

By Irfan Mohammed

Jeddah: A group of NRI protestors from Saudi Arabia repatriated to back home recently.

The Shaheen Bagh has inspired similar protests across the country in India but taking clue from it some young NRIs in Saudi Arabia had committed a grave blunder. A group of NRIs, mainly from Bihar held a protest by holding placards against the proposed NRC of India in downtown of Balad in Jeddah last year. The Gulf countries have zero tolerance towards any kind of protest, demonstration, or gatherings. Unaware of this basic rule some youth, who used social media for posting undesirable posts and attended the gathering, landed in trouble.

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They were arrested for violating rules that prohibits any kind of assembly and protest. Since then, they were waiting to return home.

Besides them some NRIs, employed in maintenance companies, who were arrested for begging at traffic signals also among hundreds of other NRIs languishing in various deportation centers in Saudi Arabia for the last few months were repatriated back home.

Unlike in the past where most NRIs hail from southern parts of the country, now many of them who were apprehended for various violations in general and visa and employment rules in particular hailing from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal states.

The foreign workers who violated local laws required to return home through deportation centers. The repatriation of Indians from jails and deportation centers is routine and standard procedure. However, it was stalled following suspension of flights and covid-19 protocol, quarantine cost by states, relevant issues in India, thus resulted in scores of Indians stranded.

The repatriation stranded inmates have gained momentum following efforts of Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Saeed, backed by a battery of enthusiastic diplomatic cops in Jeddah and Riyadh. The Ministry of External Affairs successfully pursued various states back home, besides various government agencies in Saudi Arabia, according to sources. The repatriation of inmates is a continuous process; However, logjam has been cleared to a larger extent, they added. Nearly 3000 NRI workers deported to back home India.

Saudi Arabian Airlines has operated a total of 11 deportee flights so far to India. The cost of airfreight is borne by Saudi Arabian government. The deportee’s flights were different from regular and Mission Vande Bharat flights. During the heights of pandemic in May, Telangana for the first time in the country allowed the landing of four special deportee flights of Saudi Arabian Airlines.

Jail and deportation center inmates, who landed in various Indian disembarkation points faced tough challenge to reach their native states from the southern part to northern part of the country and vice versa.

BJP MP, D. Arvind and TRS leader, MLC K. Kavita facilitated some Telangana destitute NRIs to reach their homes after disembarkation from different Indian cities. Both political rivals of Nizamabad district are known for aiding scores of stranded NRI to return home.

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