'Stripped, starved, thrashed', 43-year-old Oman returnees recalls tale of woe : The Tribune India

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'Stripped, starved, thrashed', 43-year-old Oman returnees recalls tale of woe

9 more Punjab women rescued from Oman

'Stripped, starved, thrashed', 43-year-old Oman returnees recalls tale of woe

Oman returnees at the Delhi airport on Friday. MANAS RANJAN BHUI



Tribune News Service

Karam Prakash

New Delhi, June 2

A 43-year-old woman of a Phillaur village in Jalandhar who had ventured abroad in search of greener pastures had to survive only on water for six days in a row in Oman after being locked inside a room by her job agent.

6 days without food

Torture through stripping and thrashing was the norm. No food was once offered for six days. Survived only on water. Rescued woman

Narrating her ordeal upon arrival at the Delhi airport on Friday, the woman said she was frequently stripped and beaten with a stick. “The agent would visit the room regularly to check on me. Torture through stripping and thrashing was the norm. No food was once offered for six days,” said the woman, sobbing inconsolably. She was among several other women from Punjab flown to Oman by unscrupulous agents in the lure of a well-paying job and a better life in March. Nine of them have been rescued and AAP Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab Vikramjit Singh Sahney has been instrumental in their expeditious return.

Finding it hard to believe she had made it back home, another woman, from Patti in Tarn Taran, said she had “lost hope of ever being able to get out of that hell”. “My Indian agent charged me Rs 70,000. When I reached Oman, another agent sold me to a local family for a few lakh rupees,” she said, tears rolling down her cheeks.

A mother-of-four, she said she was mentally tortured for days and had no access to food or phone. “Returning home is like a second life,” said the woman, who was promised a job in a Dubai salon. A woman from Nakodar said travel agents duped them on the pretext of making a quick in Arab nations.

Explaining the nexus, an official involved in the rescue said, “The agents first entice young women with a foreign job, charge them a certain fee and then also take their share from Arab job counterparts, who further sell the victims to families or businessmen. They are left there without work licence and have to fend for themselves.”

Punjab MP Sahney said all the rescued women would visit police stations nearest to their homes and file FIRs against their agents. “We will ensure speedy justice,” he said.

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