Indian community leaders with Brig Gen Ali
Brig Gen Ali vows help to Expats Indian community leaders discuss expatriates problems

KUWAIT CITY, Nov 28: Brigadier General of Farwaniya Governorate Abdul Fatah Al Ali promised Indian community leaders to look into some of the most pressing issues concerning the Indian expatriates, including the persistent problem of wastewater flooding of roads in Abbasiya that has aggravated after the recent rains.

The brigadier general met with Sharafuddeen Kannath, President Kuwait KMCC & Director of Pravasi Welfare Board Kerala, Advocate John Thomas, Manager United Indian School, and S.A. Labba, President of IASCO Tuesday.

Talking to the Arab Times after the meeting, Sharfuddeen Kannath said a host of grievances of the Indian community, especially in areas like Abbasiya, were presented to Al Ali, “who gave a very empathetic hearing, acknowledging the grievances.”

Kannath said that flats in Abbasiya and other areas of Kuwait are regularly subjected to police raids, which have become a source of worry not just for bachelors but families as well. “Expatriates are living in an atmosphere of fear not knowing when the next inspection is going to happen.”

Another growing problem faced by expatriates pertains to domestic servants. As the head of an organization involved in helping the economically backward sections of the community, Sharfuddin Kannath said several maids become illegal residents because their visas are cancelled by their sponsors without any prior notification.

“This lands them in a lot of trouble, because not only are they suddenly unemployed, but also lose their legitimacy to reside in Kuwait.” The need for a formal legislation of laws highlighting the rights of domestic workers has already been raised from several quarters of not just expatriate communities, but Kuwaiti human rights workers too.

Another important issue raised by Kannath at the meeting with the brigadier general was related to rising crime rate in the various expatriate areas of Kuwait.

Kannath said that snatching, theft, violations against women and other crimes of similar nature have shown little letup despite frequent complaints to concerned authorities. The crime sections in newspapers are fraught with reports of abduction and robbery.

Kannath feels that police patrolling has to be stepped up, especially in overcrowded areas like Abbasiya, because criminals exploit the crowded atmosphere to make good their escapes after committing crimes.

The infrequent removal of waste, leading to piling up of garbage and the concomitant health issues were also discussed at the meeting.

Meanwhile, the Kuwait Municipality informed the Arab Times that in the last couple of days wastes were not removed from various localities in Kuwait due to a change in the contract with cleaning companies. The issue has been resolved and waste clearing will continue as before, the municipality added.
The issue of invalid detention of expatriates at police stations on groundless charges was also touched upon by Kannath at the meeting, “to which Brigadier General Al Ali expressed deep concern and promised to deal with it with firm action.”

Kannath noted that Al Ali stressed on the importance of timely registration of complaints with concerned authorities. The brigadier general advised the expatriate community to have faith in the system and to take action as prescribed in the law against any violation.”

Al Ali suggested the need to hold confidence-building campaigns to cement the trust of the public on the authorities. He plans to hold a meeting in connection with it at Jleeb Shuwaikh in the near future.

By: Valiya S. Sajjad Arab Times Staff

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