Victim’s story from Punjab. Travel agent Shatar, a Keralite based in Dubai, is the key operator in the human trafficking chain. He is a blackmailer. “A large number of women, primarily Punjabis, are being lured to foreign shores for menial jobs and inhumane conditions,” Suman (a pseudonym was used), a Ferozepur resident, explains. Suman herself managed to escape confinement in Ajman just a few days ago.
Her harrowing experience serves as a reflection of the plight faced by numerous other women ensnared in the same cycle of “deception and coercion” in the Gulf region. Suman, who is now being held in Dubai owing to unresolved paperwork, told The Tribune, “I was picked up from the airport in a car by Shatar’s driver nearly a month ago.” I was escorted to a comfortable lodging with five additional girls.”
Suman recalls that despite spending around 20 days there, they were not offered any employment opportunities. “We had been taken there on a tourist visa and were promised that we would be provided jobs. We were told that we would get a work visa after we landed.”
“My tourist visa expired, and Shatar started threatening me, saying that I would be sent to jail if I did not seek money from my family. We were given mobiles for brief periods and during one such opportunity, I was able to connect with the Punjab Police.”
Suman recollects, “For the 20 days I stayed there, we only saw Shatar and a woman who works there. He speaks Hindi as well as Arabic. I began doubting him when he kept our passports and never sent us to work despite being asked.”
Read her full story here.