RAK is one of the biggest manufacture of ceramic,tiles,crockeries and related materials inside U A E.
Abu Dhabi: Nearly 3,000 Indian workers have been detained at an undisclosed location on the outskirts of the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, on charges of rioting. ( Watch )
The workers - from Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Kerala - of a large ceramics manufacturing unit in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah were rounded up by security agencies after they went on a rampage at their labour camp on Friday night to protest against the poor quality of food being served to them.
Indian ambassador to the UAE, Talmiz Ahmed, confirmed on phone that employees of RAK Ceramics indulged in arson by burning vehicles and destroying furniture and are now under arrest.
Although not all of the nearly 3,000 workers were involved in the fracas, the police took all of them to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in army vehicles.
While there have been strikes by Indian workers in the past in the UAE over poor working conditions and unpaid salaries, which have led to the Dubai riot squad being called in, this is the first time the UAE army has been pressed into service to arrest Indian workers for rioting.
Confirming the detention of the Indians, minister of overseas Indian affairs, Vayalar Ravi, told TOI that his department "is in touch with the UAE authorities". There were people of other nationalities, too, involved in the rioting, he said. "We are trying our best to get the Indians released. The labour officer attached to the Indian consulate is in constant touch with the UAE officials."
The workers have been questioned and their fingerprints taken. Those found to be involved in the violence will be deported after serving their prison terms, a source in the UAE told TOI. Ras Al Khaimah, where the violence occurred, and Abu Dhabi, are among the seven emirates that make up the UAE.
Talmiz Ahmed also said "the workers went on a rampage at their camp over poor quality of food served to them," and added that he wasn’t aware of the exact number of workers detained.
According to Rateesh, an eyewitness, the workers beat up the camp-in-charge, smashed windows and destroyed canteen furniture. Not content, they then came out and set at least two parked vehicles on fire. A few of them were even injured in the melee. During his visit to the UAE in May this year, foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee had urged the Gulf countries to promote social equality for the millions of Indian workers in the region.