It was a dream come true for Fatima and Salim (name changed), after they were both offered plum jobs in Saudi Arabia in 2015. Fatima was to work as a beautician for Rs 45,000 per month, while Salim would be employed as a driver, earning Rs 25,000 per month. But things went downhill for Fatima as soon as she landed in Riyadh.
She suffered through hell, before one of her companions, another Indian woman, slit her wrist. The matter was taken up by local police, who then rescued Fatima and others. After their return to Mumbai, city cops have arrested an agent named Nisar, who pushed Fatima for the job. Fatima, a resident of Gujarat, got Nisar’s contact details when she went for Haj in 2005, through a common acquaintance from Madhya Pradesh, who gave her Nasir’s business card after learning that she was a beautician.
The business card said Nisar was the manager of Mijan Tour and Travels in Agripada, Byculla West. Fatima called Nisar in 2008, when she didn’t have much work. He asked her to come to Mumbai. Fatima then met Nisar in April 2008. He sent her to Dubai in 2009 to work as beautician, but returned in three months as she suffered a liver ailment in July.
Nisar again called Fatima in 2015, this time with a lucrative offer. He offered her a R45,000 salary and a driver’s job to her husband for Rs 28,000 rupees per month. After their families agreed, the couple came to Mumbai in August.
“On August 22, both flew to Riyadh. After landing there, Fatima was asked to board another flight to Dammam, saying her license to work in Saudi) is not ready yet and her husband would join her there the next day,” said an officer. When they contacted Nisar, he told Fatima that her husband will have to work for three months in Riyadh and then his license will arrive. Both would have to work separately till then,” said an officer.
Fatima was taken to a beauty parlour named Heena Markas, when she found three more women. Out of them Shamim Sultana and Sana Sultana were sisters from Hyderabad while one Christine was from Philippines. After a few days, Fatima learnt that her license was that of a maidservant. When she questioned the owners about this, they laughed and asked her to forget ever returning to India.
The owners also started paying only Rs 25,000 per month and made them work for as much as 14 hours. After a few months, they asked them to go for ‘personal work’ in the surrounding area. Christine refused and revealed to the other three that this was their way of forcing the women into prostitution.
Beaten up by bosses
“All the workers started retaliating, which resulted in mental and physical torture [from the owners]. Around April 2016, the owner’s brother beat up the workers, and told them that they won’t be able to return to India alive. The worried women hatched a plan”, added the officer.
After a few days, one of the Hyderabadi sisters slit her left wrist. The girl was taken to a hospital. There, she told cops that unless they rescue her sister and Fatima and Christine, she wouldn’t utter a word. When cops reached the parlour, nobody could be found. Then they inquired to parlour owner and were told they have only one worker who tried to commit suicide. When the police left, the owner beat up Fatima, Christine black and blue.
Put in Saudi prison
After being pressurised by the injured worker, Saudi cops grilled owner who finally confessed they have hid the girls to save them from police action. The matter was settled when one of the workers withdrew her complaint. Till then, Fatima was kept in a women’s prison in Dammam. After getting released from there, she reached Mumbai and registered a complaint against Nisar in Agripada police station. He was arrested on February 8 and is now in judicial custody.
Salary Fatima was promised
Salary Fatima received