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India Bringing Back Bodies of 11 Workers Killed in Saudi’s Najran City

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Indian workers, Saudi Arabia
11 Indian workers killed in a fire in a house in Saudi Arabia's Najran city (representative image). Pixabay
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  • All of the Indian Workers were employees of Emaar EA Motahedon Trading and Contracting Company
  • The fire broke out at around 4 a.m. in the three-bedroom derelict house that had no windows for air circulation
  • Najran is a city in southwestern Saudi Arabia near the border with volatile Yemen

New Delhi, July 11, 2017: The Indian Consulate in Jeddah is making arrangements to bring back the bodies of 11 Indian workers killed in a fire in a house in Saudi Arabia’s Najran city, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

Of the 11, four were from Uttar Pradesh, three from Kerala and one each from Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Punjab, MEA spokesperson Gopal Baglay said at his weekly media briefing here.

While Tabrej Khan, Ateeq Ahmad, Waseem Akram, Mohammad Waseem Azizur Rahman and Vakeel Ahmad hailed from Uttar Pradesh, Kamalapan Sathyan, Baiju Raghavan and Sreejith Kottassseri were from Kerala, Gauri Shankar Gupta was from Bihar, Morokanandan Kaliyan from Tamil Nadu and Paras Kumar Subedar from Punjab, he said.

All of them were employees of Emaar EA Motahedon Trading and Contracting Company.

The 11 migrant labourers died of asphyxiation in Najran on Wednesday in a fire that engulfed the windowless house they shared, the Saudi Gazette said.

ALSO READ: Saudi Arabia to Introduce Physical Education Programs in Girls’ Schools

“Firefighters put out the blaze in an old house lacking windows for ventilation. Eleven people died of asphyxiation, and six others were injured,” the report quoted Najran Civil Defence spokesman Abdullah Al-Farie as saying.

The fire broke out at around 4 a.m. in the three-bedroom derelict house that had no windows for air circulation.

Najran is a city in southwestern Saudi Arabia near the border with volatile Yemen.

Baglay said the Indian Consulate in Jeddah is in touch with local authorities and the Governorate of Najran region.

“We are also in touch with the local authorities as well as the hospital to ensure that all possible assistance and treatment is extended to the injured,” he sated.

On Wednesday night, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that she had spoken to the Indian Consul General in Jeddah.

“I have spoken to Consul General Jeddah. Najran is 900 Km from Jeddah. Our staff is rushing by the first flight available,” she stated.

“Our Consul General is in touch with the Governor of Najran. He is updating me on regular basis.” (IANS)

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Ethnic Indian Jai Sears responds to complaint against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada

Jai Sears wrote in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier

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Gandhi
Mahatama Gandhi, leader of non violence

Jai Sears from Grenada, Caribbean has written a letter to editor in response to complaints against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada. Here is the text:

I write in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier and published in the Grenada newspaper, The New Today (Nov 3, 2017). In his letter, Rougier is asking the Government to remove the bust-statue of Gandhi which overlooks Sauteurs Bay in Grenada where East Indians arrived 160 years ago. Rougier’s opinion is based on the false notion that Gandhi was racist because the Mahatma reportedly considered Indians to be superior to black Africans when he referred to the latter as “kaffirs.”

Gandhi was only 27 years old when he made that contextual statement. If Rougier had done his research, he would have found that Nelson Mandela said: “Gandhi must be forgiven for these prejudices in the context of the time and the circumstances.” The quote can be found in “Gandhi the Prisoner” by Nelson Mandela published in 1995. Gandhi was a man; he was not god. And even god made mistakes.

In favour of Mahatama Gandhi
Photo of Jai Sears

Rougier must instead focus on the Gandhi’s vision of non-violent protest and his belief in satyagraha which inspired rebels and revolutionaries around the world. Gandhi’s ideas influenced leaders of the African National Congress and the struggle by Indians and blacks against white apartheid rule in South Africa. From as early as 1956 when he was 27 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to Gandhi as “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”

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Following the success of his boycott, King contemplated traveling to India to deepen his understanding of Gandhian principles. The fact is that Gandhi saw people of all races, castes, colours and creeds as equal which led to his assassination by a Hindu fanatic in 1948. So who is this unknown Josiah Rougier? Is he as illustrious as the great Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King? And is he disagreeing with his possible heroes?

A friend to all.
Jai Sears
Grenada, Caribbean