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Rediff.com  » News » 3 Gujarat workers return home after being held in Angola

3 Gujarat workers return home after being held in Angola

June 03, 2012 15:06 IST

Two workers from Vadodara, who were recently released from jail by Angolan authorities along with others, returned to the city on Saturday night and reunited with their families.

Three workers from Gujarat, out of the total 26 workers who were recently released from jail by Angolan authorities, returned to the state. Jignesh Prajapati and Ashish Maheshwari from Vadodara arrived at the civilian Harni airport on Saturday. One Mukesh Nakum is from Jamnagar.

Talking to reporters on their arrival, Prajapati and Maheshwari said they were greatly relieved that their ordeal was finally over and they were reunited with their family members.

They said they had lost everything while being kept in jail for 22 days before their release.

Prajapati and Maheshwari criticised the Centre for not coming to their rescue, despite the hardships.

"The protest started when they were refused visas while working in a cement company in Sumba. How could one work and stay in a country without a visa," Prajapati said.

Both of them said they did not have their passports and were issued emergency certificates which enabled them to return to India.

"We used mobile phones as it was the only medium to convey to our family members and kin in India about our sufferings in Angola after the failure of the Indian embassy to look after us," Prajapati added.

The batch of workers returning home is among those who had struck work on the issue of wage payment and were put in jail. They were released after spending 22 days in jail. This was after intervention from the central government and the Indian embassy in Angola.

"A security guard at the company was asked by the company management to fire at all the workers protesting in Sumba where the company's plant is located," he alleged.

Maheshwari alleged that the jail authorities had robbed their cash and mobiles while they had not received their dues from the company.

"We will try our best to get our dues from the company and sue the travelling agency which took us there promising a bright future," Maheshwari said.

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