By Gyanendra, APN, Ghazipur
The body of Tapak Singh Kushwaha of Mania village of Ghazipur district was received by his family and friends at Varanasi airport on February 28 amidst mistrust and confusion. He died in mysterious conditions in Saudi Arabia. He had left home for a better livelihood in July 2015 and gone to Qatar from where he moved in a couple of months to Saudi Arabia.
Things were fine for a few months and Singh was in regular contact with his family. Then, he started complaining about non-payment of salary by his employer, Bakhit Mohammad Javed al-Mari. Once he said his employer had advised him to forget about his family. A few days after that, Kushwaha’s mobile went silent and the communication link was completely broken.
His family reported the matter to the Ministry of External Affairs on August 7, 2016,and then wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office. The family also called the Indian embassy in Riyadh, but failed to receive any clue about Kushwaha’s whereabouts. They then called Bharat Chauhan, who was from the same village and works as a driver in Saudi Arabia. He informed them that Kushwaha’s body was lying in a morgue in Dammam city. Chauhan informed the Indian embassy as well.
After constant queries, the Indian embassy informed the family that it was a murder case which may take two to three months to investigate. However, on January 10, 2017, the embassy issued a No Objection Certificate to send the body home and also informed the family.
The victim’s brother, Jaglal Singh Kushwaha, brother-in-law, Dilip Kumar, and his friend, Sunil Yadav, while talking to APN, questioned why someone who went abroad for a better livelihood would commit suicide. They also protested that the Indian government was irresponsible in safeguarding its nationals’ interests.