November 2023 \ Diaspora News \ Diaspora News

Bhubaneshwar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed the state administration to ensure safe return of 35 Odia workers reported to be held captive in Laos.

“As per the direction of the Chief Minister, the Labour Commissioner has taken up the issue with the Indian Embassy at Laos. The Embassy authorities have informed that they are in touch with the labourers and all necessary steps will be taken for their safe return to India,” a press release issued by the Chief Minister’s office said.

The workers from Kendrapara district have reportedly been held captive at a plywood factory in Attapeu province of the southeastern Asian country.

The issue came to the fore after the stranded workers sent videos to their families narrating their ordeal.

The workers alleged that they are being subjected to physical and mental torture by the owner who has also forcefully taken away their passports of the victims and allegedly not paid their salaries for the last two months.

The workers were forced to work at the plywood factory for long hours against the promised 8-hour shift in a day. They had gone to Laos through a local contractor six months back. The employer is allegedly providing food to the workers once in a day and also physically abusing them if they demand more.

Tags: Laos