A 35-year-old man, who was held captive by his employer in Saudi Arabia for over a year, returned to his village here after the intervention of the Indian Embassy in Riyadh, police said on Saturday. Rakesh Upadhyay (35), a resident of Sonpur village under the Koirana police station area, was working as a plumber in a firm in Riyadh–the capital of Saudi Arabia, on a two-year contract.
He had entered the contract in 2019, which expired on June 20, 2021. Superintendent of Police (SP) Anil Kumar said that Upadhyay had told his family members that after the expiration of his ‘Iqama’ (green card), he was neither given his salary nor his passport. As a result of which, he was unable to leave the place.
”In this context, Kamlesh, Rakesh’s brother, sought help from SHO Jai Prakash Yadav,” he said, adding that Bhadohi Police informed the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) about the incident.
”When the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia was informed about the incident, the owner of the firm was summoned to the embassy with the help of the police. There it was assured that one year salary of Rakesh Upadhyay amounting to Rs 4.5 lakh will be paid to him,” Kumar said.
”However, the company stopped him on the pretext that he will get the money only if he extends his contract by another two years. This prompted the police to again write to the embassy and the firm that Rakesh should be freed after being paid his salary, otherwise legal action will be initiated,” the SP said. ”Subsequently, on July 1 and then on July 3, the Indian Embassy was informed by the Bhadohi Police that Rakesh has not got any relief, following which Rakesh was called to the company, his salary was paid to him, and his documents were handed over to him. And on July 7, he was freed,” he said.
On the night of July 14, Rakesh reached Delhi airport. He returned to his village on Friday evening, the SP added.