Follow-up: Indian professor languishing in Libya seeks justice
By Deepak Parvatiyar & Venkatesh Raghavan
Despite running from pillar to post, making rounds of Libyan ministries, and writing to Indian mandarins and politicians, the ordeal of Dr Sanjeev Dhari Sinha continues as he remains hostage to hostile circumstances in strife-torn Libya for over a decade now. His abode for years has been either the security guard’s outhouse or a discarded classroom of a university that has ostensibly exploited his situation for unexplainable reasons. He has been suffering without a salary and visa in Libya, where India has no embassy following subsequent changes in government there.
Sanjeev’s case has been pending before the authorities in Libya and India without any resolution as he languishes in a foreign land waging a lonely battle without any support mechanism of friends and relatives. His parents died while longing to see their son, and he could not make it to their funerals even.
Today this designated assistant professor of English in a Libyan university continues to cry for justice in the humanitarian crisis that he faces.
“I would like to come back to India but to return to India I need an exit visa from the University which they can’t give. I am kept in a classroom of the Faculty of Arts and Science Msllatta Elmergib University, Government of National Unity since August 2022 and in a security room of the same college since 1 May 2019 and before Tripoli University Medical Hostel Tripoli all without Visa and contract original copies after the decree. There is no Embassy here in Tripoli although N J Gante has given credentials to the Libyan Government on 21 December 2021,” Sanjeev wrote in a letter to the Indian Minister of State for External Affairs, Meenakshi Lekhi, on April 25, 2023.
“India and Libya adhere to the UN but unfortunately the Indian Embassy and Government Authorities and Universities are bringing a bad name to Libya and India and creating interference in bilateral ties of these two countries for the solidarities of both the countries and behind this game they are doing their own personal business,” he wrote in the letter and implored the minister to help him.
However, this was not the first time that he was writing to a minister or bureaucrat in India. He has been doing this for many years now but to no avail. He has also written to the United Nations agencies in this regard. But justice eludes him to date.
Sanjeev began his stint at a university in Libya in 2009. Being denied salary and return visa to India for fairly long time, the report published on February 21, 2021, of our web portal, www.globalbihari.com, seemed to be serving as the light at the end of the tunnel. However, there is no sight of any early resolution of the crisis as yet. As late as March 2023, there was no relief forthcoming from the proposed opening of the Indian embassy in Libya as the envoys posted failed to respond despite repeated feelers being sent to them.
Also read: Languishing in war-torn Libya for 9 years, NRI’s rescue cry goes unheard
The story began to unfold after the initially published article in www.global.bihari.com commenced with Sanjeev meeting the higher education minister and scientific research, Dr Omran Mohammed Al Qib on April 14, 2021. This was nearly a month after a ministry was set up by the new government in Libya. Dr Omran’s attempts to get in touch with the president of the Elmergib University of Libya failed, as the phone was switched off.
Much later, during the Holy month of Ramadan, the university president disclosed that Dr Omran had already spoken to the Ministry of Interior on this subject. After this, the president of Elmergib University beckoned Sanjeev and asked him to prepare his passport and visa, both valid for one year, after speaking to the immigration officials. Sanjeev received his new passport in July 2021 from the second secretary Raj Bala. The passport was issued from Tunis. Instead of the purported one-year visa, Sanjeev could only procure a one-day Residence Visa on August 31, 2021, although Sanjeev claimed that a decree for three years was passed by the Ministry of Labour. ” I had signed two contracts for 2019- 20 and 2020 – 21 as I had already signed a 2018-19 contract and 2017- 18 joining,” he said, adding that he had also paid 500 LD for a two-year visa and no copy of the contract was handed over to him as per promise after stamp from the Libyan Ministry of Labour.
Thus the ordeal for Sanjeev continues even after three years have passed since the Ministry of Labour signed two contracts for 2019 -20 and 2020-21. Despite having paid 500 Libyan Dinars, Sanjeev received only a one-day residence visa, and still, there is no copy of the contract given to him as per his employer’s promise.
Soon thereafter, the university went through a four-month strike period, resulting in extended uncertainty for Sanjeev. Nearly eight months later, after the initiation of Sanjeev’s immigration procedure, the president of Elmergib University dashed off a letter to the Ministry of Finance in the first week of January 2022. Along with the letter was enclosed Sanjeev’s salary slip. However, there was a change of guard at Elmergib University’s President’s post soon after this happened.
Much later, on November 13, 2022, the new president assured Sanjeev that he would receive his salary and visa as per the agreement reached with the minister. To this date, Sanjeev has not received any relief on these two counts. After the public assurance on Sanjeev’s humanitarian crisis, which came to a naught, there were a series of communications between the University officials and people in the ministry. But justice continues to elude Sanjeev.
2 thoughts on “Follow-up: Indian professor languishing in Libya seeks justice”
I have filed a complaint with the Attorney General Libya and United Nations Support Mission Libya Human Rights, Ministry of Labour and Immigration through Dy Minister Mhesr on 18 January 2023 I was teaching at Tripoli University in October-November 2022 and December 2022 attended an International conference. I was also teaching at Faculty Education, Elmergub University in December but after teaching and submitting all relevant papers they told me to get No objection from Dean Msllatta. I had an offer from Asmsria University on June 22 and I had given my papers there but when I asked them to take NOC from E U & T U or Mhesr they did nothing. I did not join. I joined Elmergib University after NOC from T U through Mhesr and when President Elmergib University wrote to Under Secretary.
Very sad _ very very sad to know about the Libyan 🇱🇾 people , may their Allaah give them little brains and little brains to UN people taking millions in salaries what they are getting for just to say yes no .