Only a few involved in violent labour protest to be deported

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Dubai, Oct 31 (UNI) Only a small group of construction workers, of the 4000 who were detained following Saturday's violent protest at the Jebel Ali camp here, will be prosecuted or deported.

The issue was resolved after yesterday's talks between top officials of the Indian diplomatic mission and representatives of the UAE government.

Workers of a construction firm, protesting against meagre wages, turned violent and damaged public property. They were detained by the Dubai Police and sent to Al Aweer Jail as a precautionary measure.

Indian Ambassador to the UAE Talmiz Ahmed was quoted by Khaleej Times as saying that the matter has been resolved amicably.

Only those workers against whom there was clinching evidence of their involvement in violence would be prosecuted, Mr Ahmed clarified.

''Other workers will have the option to either stay on in Dubai and continue to work for the local contracting company, or else leave their job voluntarily and return to India. However, if they decide not to quit, they will have to furnish an affidavit swearing they will not indulge in any such illegal activities and will fulfil all their contractual obligations,'' the Indian Ambassador said.

''We have discussed these options with the workers and a majority of them want to return to work. All those willing to do so will be released today,'' he added.

Dubai Police Chief Dhahi Khalfan Tamim told the paper that those workers who were involved in the violence would be prosecuted under criminal law, while the innocent can safely return to work.

''We have firm evidence against those workers who indulged in violence and they will all have to face legal action,'' he added.

Meanwhile, about 2,000 labourers of a Sonapur-based contracting company refused to report for duty for the the fourth consecutive day yesterday. They have also been demanding an immediate pay hike.

UNI

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