DUBAI: An Indian man committed suicide in Dubai by throwing himself under a train after his employer refused him the right to return home, newspapers in the Gulf emirate reported on Thursday.
A driverless Dubai Metro train struck the man on an elevated track on Monday, the Gulf News daily said. “His body was left beyond recognition and police took two days to identify him,” it reported.
The 36-year-old had “used an emergency fire exit to access the track,” the paper quoted Dubai deputy police chief General Khamis al-Mazeina as saying, adding he was thought to have been under the influence of alcohol.
A friend of the victim who had been in Dubai since 2010 told police the man “was depressed and unhappy because he wanted to go back home but the sponsor, for no clear reasons, was not letting him go,” said Mazeina.
The Indian man's work visa had been cancelled after he lodged a complaint about his employer. Under the sponsorship system for foreign workers in the United Arab Emirates, employers take possession of their passports.
“We are investigating why the company delayed sending” the man back home, Mazeina said.
The suicide is the first of its kind reported since the Dubai Metro began operations in September 2009.
Platforms in metro stations are protected by glass doors that slide open only when a train is there.
The UAE and other Gulf countries have come under repeated criticism from human rights groups over their treatment of millions of foreign workers, mostly South Asians.
The watchdogs have particularly criticised the sponsorship system, still in force in most Gulf states, by which workers must be sponsored by their employer, and have likened it to modern-day slavery.