‘State police should launch criminal cases’

Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi has called upon State governments to initiate prosecution proceedings against unscrupulous recruiting agents who con innocents by sending them abroad without proper documents.

Addressing a party workers’ meet here on Friday, Mr. Ravi said the Union government had started derecognising overseas manpower agents who were responsible for the current plight of the more than a lakh Indians who were affected by the naturalisation process in Saudi Arabia.

However, to take things to their logical conclusion, these agents should be proceeded against for their criminal action. It was up to the State governments to initiate prosecution measures against them, he said.

“For the past four years, my Ministry has been carrying out advertisement campaigns in various languages. I am sad such campaigns have not delivered results,” Mr. Ravi said.

The naturalisation process in the Gulf countries would have its impact on Indian expatriates, but of the 2.4 million expats in Saudi Arabia, only a lakh would be affected by the current campaign, he said.

The Union government, Mr. Ravi said, had kicked off a multi-pronged action plan to deal with the issue.

On the one hand, it had initiated diplomatic moves and on the other, it was in touch with the governments of nine States that would be directly affected by the Saudi naturalisation process.

The meeting of the State government representatives with that of the Union government, scheduled for Monday, would chart out rehabilitation schemes for the returnees.

“However, we cannot continue to depend on the Gulf job market for our employment needs. We will have to provide our people with jobs in our own country,” he said.

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