Hyderabad Woman Trafficked to Kuwait, MEA Appeals to Police to Crack Down on Illegal Travel AgentMarch 18, 2019 17:30
(Image source from: NDTV.com)
The Ministry of External Affairs has written the Telangana Director General of Police to crack down on an illegal travel agent Mohd Aleem in Hyderabad for allegedly trafficking Mehraj Begum to Kuwait.
In February, the son of the 42-year-old woman, Mohd Sarda reached out to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for help to rescue his mother.
“This is the first time that MEA has written to the police directly asking for action against the agent. Generally, MEA first asks us to get an FIR on the matter - and that is where we run into the first hurdle,” MEA spokesperson Amjed Ullah Khan was cited as saying by The News Minute. “Police often refuse to file an FIR or delay it for months after the complaint has been given,” he alleges.
“In case we have an FIR, the MEA coordinates with the Indian embassy. This is the first case where it has officially written to the Telangana police to crack down on the agent,” Amjed adds.
The case in question came to light in a letter dated February 12 by Mohd Sardar to the MEA. He said that his mother was offered a job by Mohd Aleem of Hope Placement Services in Banjara Hills. She was allegedly told that she would be going to work as a beautician in Kuwait on a salary of 200 Kuwaiti Dinar (approximately Rs 45,206). Once there, however, she was made to work as a domestic help without any proper food and accommodation.
“She is being taken to different houses of her employer and relatives to work also. When she wanted to return, her employer is demanding Rs 2 lakh to allow her to go back saying that he has given the money to the said agents and bought her. When I approached the above-said travel agents and asked them to bring back my mother, even they are demanding money to call her back (sic),” Mohd Sardar alleged in the letter.
The matter was taken into cognizance by MEA on March 1 and wrote to the Telangana DGP, pointing out that Mohd Aleem and his agency were illegal. “[They] are not registered under section 10 of the Emigration Act, 1983 and hence it is not authorized to carry out overseas recruitment business without obtaining a valid Registration Certificate,” points out the letter, signed by RA Meena, Under Secretary to the Government of India.
The MEA has also asked the police to register a case in the matter, investigate it thoroughly and send an action report to the Ministry at the earliest.
By Sowmya Sangam