by Irfan Mohammed, Arab News
Jeddah: An Indian expat was killed by a fellow worker in the Northern Borders region in a dispute over the grazing of sheep.
According to the victim’s family, Naushad Fakaria came to work as a driver but discovered that he would have to work as a shepherd in the arid desert near the regional capital, Arar.
They allege he was duped into doing the job of a shepherd and was later murdered.
Northern Borders Police spokesman Col. Awayed Bin Mahdi Al Enzi has confirmed the killing. “Police investigations have revealed that an Indian shepherd was murdered by another shepherd of Arab origin 50 km from Arar,” Al Enzi said. He added that initially the Syrian accused said he had found a person dead in the middle of the road probably due to a road accident. However, he later confessed to the murder.
Naushad hailed from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh and is a father of three children aged 3 to 7. He was recruited by a manpower agency in Jaipur, Rajasthan. According to a police report, Naushad was murdered on Aug. 29.
He had brought a mobile phone from India but it was confiscated by the employer. He was also barred from calling home, family sources said.
However, he was able to make a call to India apparently using the Syrian’s mobile and had informed his family that he had been assigned to graze sheep instead of working as a car driver. He had also told them of the nonpayment of salary and that he was desperate to return home, sources added.
“Since then, Naushad’s wife had tried almost everyday to call her husband back on the Syrian shepherd’s number but was unable to get through,” they said.
According to a family friend, Riad Ali, Naushad had been trying to return home but suddenly the family heard news of his death. “We have been approaching the Indian Embassy but are unable to get any information. Later, I flew to Arar myself to find out about the circumstances related to the incident,” Ali who is based in Jeddah said.
Quoting a medical report issued by the Arar Central Hospital, Ali said: “Naushad was brutally murdered with multiple injuries to his neck, shoulder, back, chest and ears.” He added that the deceased had also had his arms broken.
Ali said the police in Arar are being very helpful in completing the legal procedures. “They also informed us that the murderer has been arrested and is in jail,” he said.