Patnaik moves centre for workers detained in South Africa

July 1st, 2011 - 12:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, July 1 (IANS) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has sought the central government’s intervention for the release of 23 workers allegedly detained in South Africa by a contractor, officials said Friday.

In May, 24 people had gone to South Africa through local agents to work as labourers in a firm. They were from Jajpur, Kendrapada and Jagatsinghpur districts.

While one of them died recently and his body arrived in his village in Jajpur Monday, others were said to be living in trying conditions in the country.

Their families allege that the workers have been kept under house arrest by a private contractor.

Patnaik, in a letter to Overseas Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi Thursday evening, said the workers had been reportedly promised good food and shelter apart from remuneration of Rs.20,000 to Rs.25,000 a month.

The chief minister has asked the union minister to look into the matter and instruct the Indian Embassy in South Africa to initiate dialogue with the government to ensure safe release of the stranded workmen, an official of Patnaik’s office told IANS.

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