Unable to return to New Zealand, migrants stage protest in Jantar Mantar


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 11-10-2021 19:56 IST | Created: 11-10-2021 19:56 IST
Unable to return to New Zealand, migrants stage protest in Jantar Mantar
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A group of 80 Indians who live in New Zealand but are now stranded here as the island country has suspended travel from India due to the COVID-19 pandemic staged a protest at the Jantar Mantar on Monday.

Led by Jagdeep Singh, who worked at a healthcare logistics company in New Zealand but has been stuck in India since 2020 following a family visit with his newborn daughter, the protesters demanded they be allowed to return.

''I had come with my wife and daughter after the baby’s birth, but then got stranded here due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, our temporary visas expired, and now neither the Indian nor the New Zealand government are helping us return to our homes,'' he said.

Singh said all of those who returned to India for various personal reasons are now in a similar situation.

''Many of the protesters are students who are unable return to complete their education. Our entire lives, work, properties, everything is there. Eighty per cent of people's temporary visas have expired in the last one year, and the New Zealand government has closed all offshore file processes,'' Singh said.

He added that they had written to the Indian government and the New Zealand High Commission here to resolve their problem, but nothing came of it.

''We will continue the protest every day from now on until we get some assurance from the Indian government and the New Zealand High Commission,'' Singh said.

In a statement, the protestors requested the New Zealand government to allow them to return to the country as soon as possible with “extension of lost visa”.

“Please understand every migrant stuck offshore has worked hard and paid lots of taxes for the growth of the New Zealand economy. So please give us the same respect, value and support as the New Zealand government has given for current onshore migrants,” the statement said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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