A 55-year-old woman who was allegedly sold and tortured in Saudi Arabia today returned to India.Sukhwant Kaur, who hails from Jalandhar, arrived at the international airport here where was received by her family members, including her husband, and former Punjab ministers Manoranjan Kalia and Anil Joshi.
She thanked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj while narrating her travails to reporters at the airport. “It is a new birth as I have come back home safely from a death trap. It was next to impossible to return from there. If the external affairs minister had not intervened, I couldn’t have dreamt of joining my family in India,” Kaur said.
With tears rolling down her cheeks, she said, “I had paid Rs 40,000 to an agent to get a job in Saudi Arabia and I went there on a tourist visa. To my utter shock, when I reached there I was sold for Rs 3.5 lakh as a domestic maid to a family”.
She said she was tortured and maltreated for three months after reaching there in January. One day landed in a hospital after she fainted on being tortured. She said that her employers used to torture her and forced her to eat meat despite the fact that she was a vegetarian. “It was my good luck I returned to India alive. No one could have thought of coming back in the circumstances which I faced there,” she added. Her husband, Kulwant Singh, told reporters that his wife was in contact with him over phone for a week after she landed there. “But a few days later, her phone was switched off and the Delhi-based agent stopped taking calls,” he said.
Singh said that on May 7, with the help of Kerala-based nurse, his wife called him up from a hospital in Saudi Arabia. “She said the travel agent had sold her to a local resident and she was forced to work as a slave in his house and was being badly treated and even tortured,” he said.
The Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia assured all help to the family after Kulwant made an appeal to Swaraj on Twitter.