Rush continues at India, Pak missions

DUBAI — The special centres set up by the Indian and Pakistani diplomatic missions in the emirate to issue outpasses for amnesty seekers, are once again witnessing heavy rush this week despite measures taken by the diplomatic staff and volunteers to streamline the procedures.

By Joy Sengupta

Published: Mon 16 Jul 2007, 9:08 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:10 AM

Thousands of Indian amnesty seekers who crowded the Indian High School Centre yesterday dreaming about meeting their loved ones back home complained that the officials were not providing them with some of the basic information. Many felt that their dream of meeting their families would not become a reality.

The scene at the Pakistan Association was also the same with a lot of people somehow braving the heat to get their outpasses.

Ahmad Qureishi, an amnesty-seeker said, “The heat is our biggest problem. Though preparations have been made, the crowd has worsened the situation. But we are ready to face anything as long as we get the outpasses.”

With the waiting rooms at the Shaikh Rashid Auditorium of the Indian High School proving to be too small owing to the rush, hundreds of people stood in the scorching heat to complete formalities for the outpasses. According to the amnesty seekers, the whole process was getting a bit too long.

Ghansi Lal Saini, an illegal labourer hailing from the Indian state of Rajasthan said, “I came down here in December 2005 after paying Rs 95,000 to an agent in India. I was hired as a brick mason at a salary of Dh700 per month. But after coming here I got only Dh37 in the first month. I had joined late in the month and they paid me for the last four days. They even rejected my application for an advance. The next month, I was paid Dh340. The company gave me no reasons for this and I was asked to talk to the agent when I complained. When I refused work, they held back my passport. It has been more than 15 days now that I am running pillar to post to the company, consulate and this place. The officials here just say that I need to make an outpass. But then how can I just leave my passport with them? I am trying to get an answer but no one is interested in saying anything to me,” he said.

There were others who said that the whole process was getting too long. “There are so many people like us. Now I fear whether I would be able to get out within the time limit given by the UAE government. “Only God knows what will happen. Actually I don’t want to return. I have paid a sum of Rs1 lakh to the agent. Back home I have my mother and four of my children. Two of them are girls and I have to marry them off. The company for which I worked closed down two years back. But after September 2, any company which hires illegal workers will be fined Dh 50,000 under the rules. So I don’t stand a chance to get a job. But I have still not been able to repay my debts,” said Ramadheer Singh, who hails from a remote village in Bihar.

The people also complained about insufficient number of counters.

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