The Union minister for overseas affairs Vayalar Ravi has spoken to Angola’s ambassador in India for an early release of the workers who were arrested for protesting against a breach of contract
Union minister for overseas affairs Vayalar Ravi today said that he spoke to Angola’s ambassador in India and is hopeful that 40 of the 1200 Indian workers arrested for protest in Angola will be released. In fact, he said, they would already be on their way back home.
The Indian workers, about 300 of them from Andhra Pradesh, were working in a cement factory. They had been held in subhuman conditions after they protested against the breach of contract wherein they were promised salary in US dollars but paid in Indian rupees. The workers held captive have no facilities for basic needs and they are ill-treated and abused, reports said.
Ravi spoke to Postnoon on the sidelines of his party meetings at Gandhi Bhavan on Friday. He said that 59 Indians were taken into custody by the Angola Government as per the records and information available. In all, 22 of them are still in the custody of the police and they have to pay a fine of $1.5 per day. But the minister was not sure of the reported figure of 1,200.
The Indian embassy and the ministry of the external affairs are negotiating with the Angola government and the local cement factory where they have been working. The factory has been urged to pay the fines imposed on the workers for protesting.
He said that Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy has already written to Union minister for external affairs SM Krishna expressing concern about the workers from the State.
Ravi, however said, the situation was under control and workers will be released. He said CPI leader Narayana has met him at a hotel this morning and urged the government to take steps for the release of workers from Andhra Pradesh.
The minister added that while most of the workers were from Vijayanagaram and Srikakulam, some are from Hyderabad. They are said to have been working in the Sumba city of Angola. Ravi said he was did not have city-specific figures.
Coming to State politics, Ravi said that the situation has improved a lot in Andhra Pradesh for the Congress.
The party, contrary to the propaganda, will win majority of the 18 seats. He dismissed YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy as not of much consequence. “He is not big enough for Congress to engage in a personal war.”
Ravi, who went with the chief minister on a campaign trail yesterday to assess the mood of voters, said the party cadres have a new vim and vigour and this time. The Congress would turn tables at the Opposition and party detractors. All the tall party leaders in the State are united, he pointed out.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Sites That Link to this Post
- 300 Angola detainees from AP – Postnoon | Angola news | May 19, 2012