Punjabi women held hostage in Singapore
Sunday 11th September, 2005
Saffajang Singh - Panthic Weekly Staff
Moga, Punjab (KP) - As already hundreds of cases of Punjabi youths having been tricked by unscrupulous travel agents have come to light in the past few years, yet another such case has come to be known. This time, it involves a Punjabi girl named Veerpal Kaur, who has been deceived while seeking to settle in a foreign country.
Mohinder Singh, father of Veerpal Kaur, alleged that a Moga based women's travel agent, who had promised getting his daughter settled in Singapore, is holding his daughter hostage. He also fears that his daughter will end up being trapped into the filthy ‘flesh trade’. Mohinder Singh had paid Rs. 51,000 to this travel agent who was arranging Veerpal's immigration to Singapore.
The unfortunate parents of Veerpal Kaur managed to gather Rs. 51,000 in the hopes that their daughter might be able to improve the family’s monetary conditions by working in abroad but now how it turned out tragically when they received a letter from Veerpal in which she details her tragic stories in Singapore. According to the letters, the travel agent who also obtained employement for her, took a $700 (Singapore) cut from her wages and then accused her of stealing $18,000 from a house. He also said that the travel agent now wants to recover the stolen amount before she be allowed to return to India.
The letters also mentioned that Veerpal was ill-treated and her modesty was sexually assaulted at the house where she was employed. When Veerpal Kaur’s parents took up this matter with the travel agent in Moga, they were told that Veerpal has to work in Singapore until she can pay back the stolen money or her parents would need to pay the Rs. 3 lakh equivalentof the stolen money.
Most unfortunate for Veerpal’s parents it that, despite numerous complaints, no action has been taken so far. A factor in this pattern of inaction be for the fact that Veerpal is of Dalit background. If India truly considers itself to be a democratic country, then it should be responsibility of the countries officials to care for ALL citizens of the country, regardless of their family background or caste.
Saffajang Singh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org