Indian workers willing to return from Sri Lanka will come back: MEA

New Delhi, Jan. 5 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Monday said they will ensure that all Indian workers, willing to return to India, will come back within 48-72 hours after the matter of a labour dispute at the privately owned Bhuwalka Steel Company was taken up by Indian High Commission authorities in Colombo.

"This morning a counsel team has gone to the company. They have got all the information and they are now working to ensure that they are repatriated at the earliest. There are a few of them who have their passports with them and they will travel first. There are others whose passports have gone to the immigration authorities. We are working with the Sri Lankan immigration authorities and will ensure that all the Indian workers who want to return will return between 48-72 hours," said MEA official spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.

He said that it is a labour dispute between an Indian company and 77 Indian workers.

"Since Friday, our High Commission in Colombo has been working on it. When they appealed to the High Commission on Friday, immediately they got in touch with the company and they have provided them some allowances so that their food and immediate needs can be taken care of-understand its per worker Rs. 5,000," he added.

"It is an Indian company and the Indian workers so there can be only matters related to a contractual dispute. This contractual dispute is between the organization and the workers. If there are is any action that needs to be taken then I am certain the Ministry of Overseas Affairs, which handles the protective matters concerning immigrants will be looking at it to try and see how we can solve this issue for future," he added.

According to reports, the 77 workers involved in the dispute went to Colombo to work for the company, Bhuwalka Steel, in June last year. Last month, some of them called up their relatives and claimed they had not been paid in two months.

The sufferers had allegedly earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, seeking their intervention to resolve the matter.

The workers mostly hail from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. (ANI)