Dubai, April 3: Over 600 expatriate workers including many from India, were arrested after they allegedly resorted to rioting and pelted stones at motorists along the busy Dubai-Sharjah highway at Al Nahda, reports said today.
The workers of Tiger Contracting company from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh were protesting against the decision by their camp official who had shifted them to two under-construction buildings that were unfit for use as accommodation, the Khaleej Times said quoting a Sharjah police source. The workers were later referred to public prosecution for trial.
After the Indian government dragged its feet on announcing a minimum wage for workers, the Gulf countries have seen a series of protests some culminating in violence. Most of the agitations were to protest poor pay and living conditions.
The agitating workers who were involved in violence and posed security threats to motorists and residents in Al Nahda area yesterday, were arrested by Sharjah Police and referred to the Public Prosecution for further investigation.
Some 800 workers were involved in the incident on Tuesday night and continued until the wee hours yesterday. But, the police arrested 625 workers who were involved in the destruction of property, blocking traffic and causing security threats to residents and motorists in Al Nahda area.
Some 15 workers who suffered minor injuries were rushed by the police to hospitals in Sharjah, the report added.
Police help from Dubai, Abu Dhabi as well as Anti-Riots Unit and Special Security Forces were also summoned to help control the situation.
Brig. Humaid Al Hudaidi, Director-General of Sharjah Police, termed the incident as ''a riot act'' which affected the security in the emirate without any reason, the Khaleej Times said.