Riyadh: The Saudi government on Monday maintained that a video going viral online and showing a man beating up an Indian construction worker was not of a Saudi national but a national of another Arab country.
The video uploaded on YouTube showed a man described as a "Saudi engineer" beating up the worker engaged in the expansion work on the Grand Mosque in Makkah. In the two-minute-long video, the worker is heard pleading for mercy, but the assailant continues to kick and hit him.
The assaulter also spits on the Indian worker after repeatedly slapping him.
The video was shared by Canadian journalist Tarek Fatah on his Facebook page.
According to Abdullah Al Olayyan, director general of the Saudi labour ministry, inspection teams visited the site of the incident to find out the details about the incident, according to the “Sabaq” newspaper.
Al Olayyan said an investigation into the circumstances of the incident included those responsible at the site, the engineer who committed the assault and the worker who was beaten. He said that the engineer has admitted to what was shown in the video.
Al Olayyan added that the engineer, who is an "Arab immigrant", apologised to the worker who accepted his apology. He pointed out that the case will be pursued by the concerned authorities to complete the necessary action.
One report said the engineer was an Egyptian national.
According to sources, the video has triggered a debate in Saudi Arabia on the rights of expatriate workers.