Punjab woman held captive at Sheikh’s bungalow, was forced to eat coal

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Chandigarh: Freed from the clutches of a Sheikh in Muscat, Baljit Kaur has a harrowing ordeal to reveal, which will send a chill down your spine. Baljit Kaur, who returned back to her home in Jassipowali village in Bathinda two days back, was sold off to a Sheikh in Muscat by her own nephew.  For 38 days I was forced to feed on coal, she bemoans.

Baljit was sent by her nephew to Dubai, where she was to work as a maid in a small family. However, she landed at the house of a Sheikh in Muscat. “There were 18 members in the Sheikh’s family. I had to cook for them all. I was forced to cut and cook gosht too. When I refused to do so, the Sheikh stopped giving me food. I was coerced into doing the household chores during the day and they locked me up in a room for the night. I was given the coal used in the Hukka’s to eat. For 38 days I had only coal and water to survive. The Sheikh and his mother even burnt me using a hot iron”, said Baljit, visibly devastated after her traumatic experience.

The matter came into light after Baljit Kaur had managed to send a voice message to her husband, Gurjant Singh, who subsequently informed the police. A case has been registered against five persons, including a woman and two agents, at Kotfatta police station. The accused have been identified as Kala Singh (Baljit’s nephew), Ludhiana resident Rajesh Master, his wife Chhindar Kaur and Bittu, and one Akram, a Delhi resident.  While raids were being conducted to nab the accused, they, under pressure, managed to rush back Baljit via a flight on Tuesday night.

Baljit used to help her husband in his work. She opted to work abroad to bring her family out of penury. However, she landed into the hands of human traffickers who promised her a two year work permit in Dubai on a payment of Rs. One lakh.

She boarded a flight on March 3 from International Airport in Dubai, but it was only when she landed that she came to know about the fraud.

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