Expats block city road demanding air tickets

Hundreds of expatriates, who returned to the country from Saudi Arabia amid coronavirus pandemic, brought out demonstrations again at Karwan Bazar in the city on Tuesday.

The agitated expatriates demanded tickets for returning to their workplaces in Saudi Arabia.

However, a heavy traffic jam was created due to the protest in the areaduring office hours.

Enamul Haque, hailing from Noakhali district said, “We blocked the Karwan Bazar- Bangla Motor road to meet our demand.”

Police personnel were trying to convince them to remove the blockade.

The agitated expatriates gathered in front of the Saudia Airlines office to get their tickets at around 10:00am. 

However, police claimed that within one and half hour, they convinced the expatriates to withdraw the blockade.

Many workers said that their visas will expire this month. So they have to return to Saudi Arabia on time. But they are not getting tickets from the airlines.

One of the expats, Raju, hailing from Madaripur, said, “I bought a return ticket of Saudi Airlines, but could not go back on the scheduled date as the flights were suspended due to the Covid-19 spread. The flight operations will be started this month but the authorities are not issuing my ticket in accordance with my expected time.”

The tensed expatriates submitted their seven-point demand to a three-member team of the foreign ministry headed by Additional Foreign Secretary Syed Mohammed Khandaker on Tuesday.

Earlier on Monday afternoon, the migrant workers protested by blocking the same road for around half an hour.

Saudi Airlines is scheduled to resume flights from Dhaka from September 23 as Saudi Arabia has announced lifting the suspension of international flights partially from September 15.