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Indian embassy in Kuwait seeks 6-month grace period

KUWAIT:  The Indian Embassy in Kuwait yesterday sought a six-month grace period for residency violators and urged authorities to stop harassment and arrest of people with valid documents. The Indian embassy officials yesterday held talks with officials at the Foreign Ministry and conveyed the embassy’s deepest concern over the continuous harassment and arrests of Indians during the ongoing crackdown against illegal residents in the country.

In his talks with Talal Al-Falah, director of the consular department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Acting Ambassador Vidhu P Nair stated that there was a growing fear among the people that “Indians are specifically targeted” in the campaign. The acting ambassador called on the ministry official to suspend the ongoing raids and grant a grace period of at least six months to residency violators so that they can either regularize their status or leave the country gracefully.

Nair brought to Falah’s notice that most of the people arrested have become residency violators because they entered the country on visas under Article 20 and moved later to work under Article 18. Secondly, the embassy sought access to information regarding the arrested and deported Indians. Currently, many arrested Indians remain unaccounted for, igniting anxiety and fear among the residents.

The embassy is kept in the dark regarding the number of Indians being arrested and deported, and on Sunday, hundreds of Indian workers stormed the embassy seeking its help in securing either the release or information of people who were arrested during a recent raid in Bneid Al-Gar. According to reports, more than 500 people were rounded up in these raids.

The Indian Embassy also requested access to meet Indians held in detention and deportation centers so that they can be provided any humanitarian assistance if required. There were media reports that cells in deportation centers are overflowing with people who live in deplorable conditions. The Indian officials also brought to the notice of the ministry officials about the continuous harassment of people traveling in their cars and moving in public places. There have been several instances of people getting their licenses cancelled despite having valid documents just because they travelled with their friends or colleagues, he pointed out.

Nair told Kuwait Times yesterday that the official agreed to look into his requests. “The talks have been quite positive and we hope that a solution can be found soon,” he said. He also informed that the embassy has sought a meeting with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior in order to brief him about the growing uneasiness and panic among the Indian community in Kuwait as a result of the continuous raids and arrests.

By Sajeev K Peter, Kuwait Times Staff

Source: Kuwait Times

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