MONROVIA – Two Indians who worked for K. LAL Shopping Center in Clara Town, Monrovia have alleged that they were wantonly abused at the orders of Mr. Lal Bhagwani, owner of the shopping center and also an Indian.
In a press statement, Yogesh Khemnani explained that he and his colleague Girish Khanwani who have worked with the shopping center for over a year were handed over to the Liberia National Police (LNP) for interrogation for alleged theft.
According to Yogesh, they were taken to the police depot at St. Paul Bridge where they were held for three hours before being escorted by an officer only identified as Musa to the company’s residence.
He further alleged that Mr. Bhagwani took them to Peekay Enterprises in Clara Town where the offices of the Indian Community in Liberia is, claiming that they had stolen from the community.
He alleged that in the presence of members of the Association of Indian Community in Liberia, including Mr. Umesh and the acting president, Mr. Pandreep and another Indian national claiming to be from the Indian Embassy, were tortured by a huge Liberian man who was introduced to them as a CID agent of the LNP.
“The Liberian fellow (CID officer) acting on the orders of the three Indians, Lal Bhagwani Mr. Pardeep and Mr. Umesh naked and assaulted us severely, leaving us with bruises on our skin. My colleague Garish Khanwani even urinated on himself during the assault. We both got sick the next day,” he expressed in his press statement.
He alleged that the CID fellow who failed to properly identify himself forced them to make self-incriminating statement under duress with the threat of inflicting more bodily harm if they didn’t.
According to the alleged victims, Bhagwani ensured that they left Liberia immediately after they recovered from the sickness. They added that they he had been paying them 20,000 Rupees instead of 25 Rupees, therefore, they decided to petition him to pay their balance or its equivalent in U.S. dollars for the 12 months they worked for.
“We want justice for the physical abuse and mental torture meted out to us, our arrears and severance pay as agreed. We are simply asking for justice and a just pay for a just work and then, we can careless about his job,” they asserted.
The pair said they reported the matter to the both the Indian Consulate in Liberia and the Indian Embassy in Abidjan for redress but to no avail.
“That is why we are constrained to bring this matter to the public in order to shed light on the abuse of Indians by some so-called big Indian businessmen in Liberia…,” they said.
Several efforts by FrontPageAfrica to get comments from the accused could not materialize.