Dalits held in Kuwait, Punjab seeks Centre's help

Chandigarh: The Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes on Thursday sought the Centre's intervention for the release of 30 dalit youths detained in Kuwait.

"We have requested the National Commission for Scheduled Castes to issue a direction to the Ministry of External Affairs for putting diplomatic pressure on Kuwait for the release of the youths," the state commission chairman Rajesh Bagha said here.

The youths, in a group of 60, had migrated to Kuwait on a two-year work permit through different travel agents in the state. A Kuwait-based construction company had hired these youth in April 2009 for two years and had taken their passports into its possession.

As their contract expired in April 2011, the entire group was detained. The company has been demanding money for the deportation, the family members alleged.

The State Commission will also approach Union External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, Bagha said.

The youths belong to poor backgrounds and their families are anxiously awaiting their release, he said.