Several Indians detained in Saudi over CAA row

Most of them have been arrested for taking part in unauthorised protests

By   |  Published: 25th Dec 2019  10:44 pm

Jeddah: The anguish over Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and proposed NRC in India is having an adverse effect on many Indians in the Gulf countries.

The Gulf countries have zero tolerance towards any kind of protest, demonstration or gatherings. Unaware of this basic rule many youths, who use social media for posting undesirable posts and attended gathering have landed in trouble. Local security forces have detained several Indians in Saudi Arabia. In a latest incident, a group of Indians were detained by Saudi security forces for organising an unauthorised gathering in the capital city of Riyadh. Also, a group of 40 Indians were detained in Jeddah last week.

The CAA and NRC debates and meetings were being held in various Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia, where a large section of Indian Muslims expressed their concerns. Meanwhile, a right wing leaning expatriate organisation in Riyadh also conducted a debate on Sunday in a popular restaurant located at Malaz locality where there is a large concentration of Indians. The theme of the debate was ‘Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 – Myth and Reality … An Inquest’.

The audience as well as speakers all belonged to Kerala, after the programme ended, some of the speakers including keynote speaker Vikram Nano from Kollam district, who is known as legal expert among Malayali expat community, were detained by police. “They were detained by local authorities, only after some of their compatriots created deliberate nuisance at the end of event,” sources said.

In Jeddah, a group of youth, mainly from Bihar, gathered at Downtown of Balad, where most of Indian blue-collar workers gather on weekends, by holding placards against CAA and NRC. It is not clear how many were detained but sources said that their number was close to 40.

Also, a small group of visiting Umrah pilgrims held demonstration by holding placards, sources said. Alarmed by the developments, Indian diplomats swung into action and advised Indians not to indulge any such action that was contrary to local laws and norms. The Indian diplomatic sources confirmed about the incidents and said Indian nationals had been advised to respect local norms and laws.

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