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Andhra seeks safe return of workers from Angola


Hyderabad : The Andhra Pradesh government has urged the central government to ensure the safe return of 300 workers from the state currently stranded in Angola.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has written a letter to External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, seeking his intervention in protecting the workers, some of whom have been arrested.

The Andhra natives were among 1,200 Indian workers denied pay by an international company in the West African country, forcing them to live in deplorable conditions.

The workers of cement plant near Sumbe town were fired upon and arrested by the Angolan Police May 9 for protesting against their employer.

Even their passports were confiscated by the employer and 15 workers were reportedly detained.

According to information reaching the state government, the workers were not paid their expenses for February and March by the contractor, ETA Star International, though the company was remitting basic pay in their bank accounts.

About 250 workers at the plant are from Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts and 50 from Hyderabad.

Reddy has urged Krishna to direct the Indian embassy in Angola to take up the matter with the local authorities to ensure workers’ safe return to India.