New Delhi, May 17 (ANI): Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia met External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna here on Thursday, and urged him to take measures to secure the release of Indian workers stranded in Angola.
Modhwadia, who also demanded that an emergency certificate be issued to the workers so that they could return home, said the External Affairs Minister has assured all assistance in this regard.
"We met the honourable external affairs minister for the two issues. One is our workers have been made (taken) captive by the Angolan government. And 22 workers have not been released. We requested the honourable minister to talk to his counterpart in Angola," Modhwadia told mediapersons after the meeting.
"And the honourable minister assured me that today honourable external affairs minister would talk to the Angolan Foreign Minister and request them to issue emergency certificate to return," he added.
Modhwadia further said that the Gujarat Government failed to take any action against the recruiting agency that had send the workers abroad.
"An Indian company had hired them. The recruiting agency belonged to Gujarat. The Gujarat Government did not take any action against it. We have requested that fine of 180 dollars, which is imposed on every worker and 10,000 dollars compensation demanded by them (the Angolan Government) should be waived," he added.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had earlier on Wednesday said the government is determined to facilitate return of Indian workers stranded in Angola.
"As far as those workers are concerned, that should any of them want to comeback to India, the Embassy would be willing to provide them emergency certificates; so, to travel out of Angola, for any of them is not an issue. Also, I have seen reports that, some of them are starving and there is no truth in those reports, they are being provided food," said MEA official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.
"So, there is no starvation, out there. Of course, they are in a difficult situation, and we are trying to work out with authorities on this. Right now, one of our embassy officials is in Sumbe, trying to work out with the company officials there," he added.
Reportedly, 1,200 Indians working at a cement plant in Angola were stuck in the southern African country consequent to the non-payment of their dues.
As for the absence of passports, Akbaruddin said that this was bound to upset the workers, but assured that visas would facilitate their safe passage back home.
He also said that one worker injured in the protest against the management of the cement plant is being treated in a local hospital. (ANI)