‘Beaten up by employer,’ Indians to return home

Updated 26 December 2015
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‘Beaten up by employer,’ Indians to return home

RIYADH: Three Indian youths who were allegedly beaten by an employer in the Kingdom, are expected to fly home within the next few days, said the Indian Consulate in Jeddah on Thursday.
The case of the three youngsters from Kerala caused an uproar on social media when one of them sent a video home through WhatsApp allegedly showing them being beaten with a plank by an employer at a brick-making factory.
“With the cooperation from the local police, the case has been solved and the youths will fly back home to Kerala in a few days,” an official from the consulate said.
“All three are under police protection and the employer will return their passports with final exit papers,” he said.
The youths — Baiju Babu, Abhilash Gopi and Vimal Kumar Vasudevan from Haripad in Kerala’s Alappuzha district — were brought to the Kingdom about a month back by an Indian placement agency on false job promises, he said.
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted: “We reported this to the Saudi police. The workers will be back in India within a week.”
A Saudi social worker said that the Indian media should also hold the placement agency accountable for making false job promises. The workers were duped and taken to Abha to work at a brick manufacturing company by their agents, he said.
“The Indian media should know that the local police cooperate fully when such cases are reported and also ensure cooperation from the sponsor, which should be appreciated as well,” he said.
“To become involved in one-sided criticism is unfair,” he said, adding that the Kingdom hosts 2.9 million Indians, the largest group of its citizens outside the country. The incidents are isolated cases, he said.


Hajj Ministry: More than 7.46m Umrah visas issued so far

Updated 25 May 2019
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Hajj Ministry: More than 7.46m Umrah visas issued so far

  • The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan
  • The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience

RIYADH: The number of Umrah visas issued this year has reached 7,463,259, of which 6,964,943 pilgrims have arrived in the Kingdom, according to data provided by the Hajj Ministry.
There are 925,246 pilgrims still in the Kingdom, with 679,929 in Makkah and 245,317 in Madinah, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Most pilgrims — 6,185,504 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 671,356 entered by land and 108,083 arrived by sea.
The largest number of pilgrims are from Pakistan (1,530,855) followed by Indonesia (934,827), India (635,675), Egypt (524,728), Algeria (353,425), Yemen (323,083), Turkey (300,517), Malaysia (26,9554), Iraq (268,179) and Jordan (194,908).
The weekly data also included the number of Saudi staff within Umrah companies and institutions. They are 10,852 Saudis including 8,978 males and 1,874 females.
Developing Hajj and Umrah organizations and services in the Kingdom is among the top priorities of the Saudi government.
The Vision 2030 reform plan aims to attract more than 30 million Umrah pilgrims, and provide them with excellent services and an outstanding experience.