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29 Sep 2016

Tom Finn, Reuters (United Kingdom)

Indian worker's suicide in Qatar raises concern over stranded migrants

The death of an Indian laborer in Qatar who had complained about not being paid and later committed suicide on a building site has focused attention on migrant workers...the decline in state energy income comes at a time when Doha is pursuing a $200 billion infrastructure upgrade for the 2022 soccer World Cup and building ports and hospitals...Foreign workers...who make up the bulk of Qatar's 2.3 million population, have borne the brunt of cutbacks. Thousands have lost their jobs as the government has sought to shield its citizens from the impact of austerity...Behara, a father of two from India's Orissa province, was stranded in Qatar on an expired visa along with some 400 other laborers owed a month's salary by UAE-based construction firm ETA Star and living in a crowded labor camp outside Doha on supplies borrowed from local stores.

Shaukat Mir, CEO of ETA Star, replying to questions from Reuters, declined to comment on the status of Behara's residency and said his "wages were a month late" which was "common in the industry."