Seven Indian Employees of IL&FS Held In Ethiopia By Unpaid Stuff

Seven professionals employed by Indian company IL&FS have been reportedly taken hostage by the local workers.


Indian employees of Indian lender and construction conglomerate IL&FS have been trapped in Ethiopia by the unpaid stuff, Reuters and several other media reported.

The employees have been trapped to a company campus north of the African nation’s capital Addis Ababa, a Reuters report said.

The foreign ministry of India is in touch with Ethiopian authorities to know further about the condition of the employees, the report said. The unpaid local workers have held the Indians hostage owing it to company’s inability to pay their salary. IL&FS is now under receivership after having failed to clear its debts.

Store manager Nagaraju Bishnu stated that four of the employees including himself are trapped in an IL&FS campus in Bure town, 400 km (250 miles) north of Addis Ababa, since Nov. 24, the Reuters noted.

Bishnu further told that two other employees have been held at captive in the town of Woliso and another Indian is kept in Nekemte town, both of which are west of the capital.

“The main gate is locked, they are observing our movement,” said 26-year-old Bishnu, speaking of the situation at Bure. “They’ve told us until they get their salaries, we can’t move from here … We are facing sleepless nights”, Bishnu was quoted as saying by Reuters.

According to a Bloomberg report, the Indian company is $12.6 billion in debt, adding that the police and officials have been taking the side of the local workers, making the situation more difficult for the Indian employees.

An official of the Indian embassy in the capital Addis Ababa spoke to the Bloomberg, stating they were “closely following up with local Ethiopian authorities and IL&FS management to resolve the issue,” while another official in New Delhi confirmed the same.

The report also cites from a letter written by the trapped employees to a bunch of Foreign and Indian officials, asking for help which read “Concerns of project termination and absence of senior management from project camps might have triggered panic in local employees and led them to believe confining expat employees might force the organization to pay their salaries.”

Last month, over 59 Indians, including 15 workers from Rajasthan, were found to be stuck in Malaysia and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) formed a team to facilitate their return to India.

Most of the workers stuck in the South East Asian country are from West Bengal and of the people stuck there, three are reportedly missing. Two families of the laborers, who had gone to Malaysia for work, have accused an agency of offering fake job positions, the Indian Express reported.

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