A Nepali worker’s death in Doha leaves others shocked and scared

Five Nepalis were injured in what looked like a premeditated assault on Tuesday

Chandan Kumar Mandal

A Nepali worker died and five others were injured in what looks like a premeditated attack on Nepali workers in Doha, Qatar, one of the most popular labour destinations for Nepali migrant workers.

Tabrez Ansari, a migrant worker from Sunsari district, died on the spot whereas five other Nepali citizens were hurt in the attack that took place on Tuesday evening at Jaidah Square.

Umar Ansari, one of the injured, has been admitted into the Intensive Care Unit of local Hamad General Hospital, according to Nepal’s embassy in Qatar. All the victims are from Sunsari district.

Ibrahim Ansari and Nausad Ansari are out of danger, according to the embassy. Two other Nepali workers—Akbar Miya and Mahsud Ansari, who also were injured in the incident—were being held in custody and were later released after Nepali mission officials visited them.

In a press statement on Wednesday evening, the Nepali embassy said it was concerned about the physical attack on Nepali workers.

Over the years, incidents of Nepali workers dying in the Arab country due to workplace accidents, cardiac arrests, other diseases and other factors have surfaced. And with the nation hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, more news of its appalling treatment of its migrant workers have made frequent headlines.

But the Tuesday evening brutal attack on Nepali workers has left other Nepalis in the Gulf country more worried than ever before.

“It was the first such incident we have heard of,” Badri, a Nepali worker who wished to be identified only by his first name, told the Post over the phone. “There used to be small disputes inside the workplace that involved workers, supervisors and other officials, but nothing of this degree.”

The incident has shocked Nepali workers in the gas-rich nation where more than 400,000 Nepali workers are currently working.

“The incident venue is a hangout for workers from different countries, including Nepal. Such fights used to be inside the workplace and residential camps before,” said Badri. “Nepali workers need to be careful.”

Following the incident, the Nepali embassy has urged Nepali workers to avoid going to crowded places without any purpose and stay alert when they make such visits.

Another Nepali worker said Nepali citizens have been circulating messages on social media and WhatsApp groups, requesting each other to stay safe.

“Nepali workers have earned the reputation of labourious and honest workers in Qatar. Normally, they are treated well,” said the worker who did not want to be named. “Sometimes Nepalis get involved in fights when trying to intervene to resolve fights between other people. We have to stay safe from workers from other countries.”

The Nepali embassy in Doha has said that they are working with local authorities to bring those involved in attacking Nepalis to book. The embassy also said that some people have already been arrested and being investigated.

Published: 16 August 2019/ The Kathmandu Post

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