SM Krishna summons Angola envoy to end workers' crisis

In the wake of the Angola crisis where Indian workers were allegedly held captive in a cement factory near Sumbe town, Minister of External Affairs SM Krishna today summoned the Angola Ambassador Manuel Eduardo Dos Santos Silva to South Block to discuss the issue.

Earlier the Congress chief of Gujarat had met Krishna to discuss the Angola crisis and to resolve it.

 SM Krishna summons Angola envoy to end workers crisis

Minister of External Affairs SM Krishna. Reuters

With dreams of a better future for his family, Vijay Valmiki of Petlad in Gujarat left for Angola to work in the electrical division of a cement factory. He got the job through a Vadodara-based placement agency.

Though Valmiki and many others like him were promised wages in American dollars, they were paid in the local currency. They have been allegedly taken hostage for protesting against the factory, reported CNN-IBN.

Officials of the cement company, located near Sumbe city of the African country, have even allegedly confiscated the passports of all the 1,200 workers leaving them with no option but to return to India by themselves.

In Andhra Pardesh, 300 families are waiting to hear from their loved ones. Chief Minister Kiran Reddy on Monday wrote to SM Krishna urging him to expedite the release of the 300 trapped workers from the state.

On Wednesday, in a new twist to the crisis, Minister for Overseas Affairs Vyalar Ravi informed the Parliament that the 1,200 Indian workers stranded in Angola are not keen on coming back home despite the government making arrangements for their return.

He said there was a strike on the issue on 16 April after which the Indian embassy had intervened but nothing happened, reported Times of India.

The minister said that after the incident, 59 Indians were produced in the local court where a fine of $40,000 was imposed on 22 of them, adding that the government would take care of the money part. He said majority of the workers had refused to come back.

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Updated Date: May 17, 2012 16:49:04 IST