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The Indian embassy evacuated three men stranded in Malaysia after an illegal overseas recruitment agency deceived them for work abroad, but they were instead forced into bonded labour.
The trio was tortured by a Pakistani contractor, till they sent an SOS to the Indian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Times Of India reported.
They were rescued successfully after the intervention of the Embassy, Ministry of External Affairs and social activist Sayyad Abid Hussain, who works for the release of Indian citizens stranded abroad.
They were brought back by a Vande Bharat flight to India.
Victims identified as Mahmood Aalam, Jaane Alam and Ainul Huda hail from Ambedkarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, who went to Malaysia in search of work but were instead forced into bonded labour in a plywood factory.
Their passports were reportedly seized by the contractor Abdul Qadir, who brutally tortured them with hot iron rods, denied wages and left them to starve.
Speaking to the media, Mahmood Alam, resident of Lalpur village in Akbarpur tehsil of Ambedkar Nagar district informed how they were deceived for a work permit by Shamshad Ansari, the man who allegedly introduced himself as the member of the recruitment agency, and w Rs 70,000 from each for the same.
They were later sent on a 15-day tourist visa on December 16, 2019, with the assurance that the work permit will be handed over to them, once they reach the destination. Instead, the contractor they were asked to refer to, confiscated their passports and inflicted brutal torture.
Mahmood Alam said that just like them, there were hundreds of Indian youth trapped in Malaysia for more than 10 years.
While working in the factory, one of the victims, Ainul Haq suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed at the premises. Seeing their plight, a co-worker confidentially gave them Hussain's number, the activist, post which the Embassy traced them.
"When I received a call from them, I contacted the ministry of external affairs and the Indian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, who acted promptly and traced them. The Pakistani agent was promised more money in lieu of the passports. He relented with threats of burning them alive if they didn't pay up Rs 80,000 extra," Hussain said.
The trio later stayed at the Embassy for almost two months, where they were provided with all the essentials and were eventually sent back to India on June 9.
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