More Andhra migrants return from Gulf

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 17, 2013 06:40 hrs

Hyderabad, Feb 17 (IANS) Another group of migrants from Andhra Pradesh granted amnesty for overstaying in the United Arab Emirates returned home Sunday.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and minister for NRI affairs D. Sridhar Babu called on the 17 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. The workers from Dubai flew back with the help of voluntary groups.

Sridhar Babu told reporters that 1,000 migrants stuck up in the UAE have approached the state government for help. He said the government had asked a team of officials to identify the migrants.

He promised that the government would provide employment and all possible help to those returning home.

The migrants, mostly unskilled labourers from various districts, were stuck after their visas expired or agents cheated them.

This was the third group of migrants to return home since last week. The first group had 14 people and the second batch 20.

The Indian Migrants Rights and Welfare Forum came forward to help the poor workers by arranging their flight tickets.

Its president K. Narasimham Naidu, who visited Dubai a few days ago, said he found that 200 Indians, including 71 from Andhra Pradesh, needed help to return to their native places.

Naidu said he was trying to rope in voluntary agencies and cultural groups to bring back more migrants.

He said the Indian government should request the UAE authorities to extend the amnesty as many illegal migrants could not apply for amnesty.

According to Migrants Rights Council, a voluntary organization, 18,000 workers from the state were languishing in the UAE.

However, only a few availed the amnesty declared by the UAE government from Dec 4 to Feb 3 that allows the illegal migrants to forego the mandatory imprisonment and penalty and return to their homeland.

However, the majority of those who applied for amnesty have no money to afford flight tickets. Most claimed that the agents cheated them by promising high-paying jobs.

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