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Rescued from Oman, Punjab women relate ordeal

Lured by agents over greener pastures, they were ‘enslaved, thrashed’ by employers

Rescued from Oman, Punjab women relate ordeal

Rescued women in Amritsar on Tuesday. Photo: Vishal Kumar



Tribune News Service

GS Paul

Amritsar, May 23

Five women from Punjab, who were illegally confined in Oman, finally heaved a sigh of relief after being reunited with their families following the nightmarish ordeal they had to go through.

Rajya Sabha MP Vikramjit Singh Sahney played a key role in their rescue by paying the compensation amount.

“We were able to identify 35 Punjabi women stranded in Oman. My team was in touch with the Indian Embassy to complete the formalities. A batch of seven more women will be arriving in New Delhi soon,” he said.

Rajwinder (name changed) cursed the day she met a Moga-based woman, who misguided her. Greener pastures on mind, she opted to grab the “offer” of settling in a Gulf country for providing a better life to her two teenaged children. She landed in Muscat on November 25, 2022, and was deputed at a house as a domestic help at 130 rial per month. “My dreams were shattered when I was not paid the promised amount and was instead threatened. I was made to work like a machine from 5 am till midnight. I had to take care of all chores of my employer’s family, comprising eight members. When I resisted, they abused and assaulted me. They demanded Rs 2.4 lakh as compensation for my freedom. One day, I ran away and reached a shelter home run by an Indian community. Since then, I had been stuck due to the non-payment of the employment penalty,” she said.

Many Indian women were sent on employment or visitors’ visa as office or domestic helps in Oman. As soon as they landed on foreign soil, their passports, phones and documents were procured by agents, who made them work live “slaves”.

Since their visas were time-bound, they overstayed. As per the law, they were unable to travel back till the penalty for overstay was paid to Oman courts to release them from employment bonds, signed by their sponsors.

Another woman from Moga, aged 38, was also lured by a local woman who, in connivance with agents, made her land in Oman. She was the one who posted a video clip from the shelter home along with other women from Punjab that highlighted their miseries. “I suffered for over a year and a half, leaving behind my husband and a nine-year-old son. My employers used to beat me often and put me in a locked room without food as I used to resist their atrocities. The agents threatened to hand me over to a brothel if I failed to pay them compensation amounting to lakhs to get freedom. I too showed courage and ran away to the shelter home to save my life,” she said.

Sahney said the issue had been brought to the notice of the Punjab DGP for action against the agents concerned.

MP helps in rescue

  • As per the law, they were unable to travel back till the penalty for overstay was paid to Oman courts
  • Rajya Sabha member Vikramjit Singh Sahney played a key role in their rescue by paying the amount

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#vikramjit singh sahney


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