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India calls for probe into worker's death.

Byline: Ghazanfar Ali Khan

RIYADH: The government of India has asked authorities in Saudi Arabia to probe an incident in which an Indian worker died after allegedly being assaulted by his workplace supervisor.

"A formal communication has been sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to probe the death of worker Sudheesh Kalathil Parambil Narayanan, 34, who succumbed to injuries two weeks after the alleged assault," said P. Balachandran, a spokesman for the Indian Embassy.

Narayanan worked at a construction site in Barak, 150 km from the southern city of Khamis Mushayt. According to reports, the Indian worker allegedly got into an altercation with his workplace supervisor on July 13 when the supervisor was seen physically assaulting a colleague who was found taking a break. Narayanan stepped in to stop the abuse, which caused the supervisor to turn his rage on him. Critically injured, Narayanan was taken to a private clinic in Al-Kharj, 80 km from Riyadh, by a well-wisher and later shifted to a hospital in Riyadh where he died on July 27.

The Egyptian supervisor who allegedly beat Narayanan has neither been arrested nor charged. Repeated calls to get a comment from Narayanan's sponsor, Abdulmohsen Al-Koban, owner of KGC Construction Co., went unanswered.

Meanwhile, the Federation of Kerala Associations, Saudi Arabia (FOKASA), held an emergency meeting in Riyadh on Thursday night to discuss ways of helping the bereaved family.

Narayanan hailed from Ernakulum district in Kerala. He was the lone breadwinner for a poor family of four, including a blind brother, two unmarried sisters and an ailing mother.

More than 1,000 deaths of Indian workers are reported every year in Saudi Arabia. A majority of them die of natural causes, and others due to industrial or other accidents. "But this is an example of ruthlessness and brutality," said Fajarudeen Mooppan, FOKASA's general secretary.

Copyright: Arab News A[umlaut] 2003 All rights reserved.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Aug 3, 2008
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