The RSS-affiliated trade union, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), on Tuesday said it had taken up the “slave labour-like” treatment of Indian workers in Qatar with the government and trade union delegates of that country during the 110th International Labour Conference being held in Geneva. Significantly, Qatar was the first country to register its protest with the Indian government over objectionable statements made by now-sacked BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal on Prophet Muhammed and Islam.
In a statement, the BMS said that since the hosting of the FIFA World Cup was awarded to Qatar , Indian workers had been kept in “slave labour” conditions. The statement also deplored the Kaafla system of managing labour, currently on in Qatar. “The Kaafla system has caused severe trauma not just to Indian workers but also to workers from other south Asian countries”, said the statement. The system, according to the statement, involves seizing of passports of workers, bad living conditions, overtime work, sexual abuse and forcibly making people work in areas where they have no skills.
The BMS said 1,611 Indian migrants had died in Qatar since 2014 but getting their bodies back was a Herculean task.
On June 11, the BMS delegation raised demands with the government and Qatari trade union delegates that Indian workers be treated well, the process of returning bodies of Indians to their country be streamlined and labour agents be dealt with strictly.