The condition of over 1200 Indian workers held ‘hostage’ by a company in Angola was grim and the government should take immediate measures to expedite their release, a Gujarati worker who was among those stranded in the African country said here today on his return.

Talking to newsmen, Vijay Valmiki said “the situation is grim for about 1200 protesting workers. They had to take shelter in the forest to escape from police wrath, local administration and company management since past 32 days, ever since they began agitation in support of their demand,” he said, narrating their plight.

All of them were promised wages in American dollars, while they were paid in local currency, after which the agitation started. They have been taken hostage for protesting against the factory management, he said.

“Police had resorted to heavy firing... nearly 300 rounds were fired to scare them,” he claimed.

“We were not injured in firing because we took shelter in the forest while one youth who was injured in firing was kept in a hostel and not taken to the hospital,” he said.

He said “officials of the cement company, located near Sumbe city of the African country, have taken away the passports of all the 1200 workers.”

He managed to return to Vadodara based on an Immigration Certificate (IC). “The Centre is not doing much on the issue, while the lives of 1200 Indians are in danger in Angola,” he said.

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