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Over 450 Indian workers died in Qatar in 2012-13


More than 450 Indian workers working in Qatar have died in the last two years, according to new data from the Gulf state.

In response to a Right to Information request filed by AFP, the Indian embassy in Qatar gave figures detailing the number of deaths in 2012 and the first 11 months of 2013.

On average about 20 migrants died per month, peaking at 27 in August last year. There were 237 fatalities in 2012 and another 218 in 2013 up to December 5.

The embassy did not give any details about the circumstances of the deaths, but the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) said the data showed an "exceptionally high mortality rate."

Death of Nepali workers

An official at the Nepalese embassy in Doha told AFP last month that 191 deaths had been registered in 2013, many of them from "unnatural" heart failure, compared with 169 the year before.

The Guardian newspaper group reported at the weekend that the Pravasi Nepali Co-ordination Committee had concluded that 400 Nepalese workers had died on Qatar's building sites.

Most of the labourers working on the new stadiums and vast infrastructure projects ahead of football's biggest tournament in the Gulf state are from South Asia.

The ITUC estimates that as many as 4,000 workers might die on World Cup building sites before a ball is kicked in 2022.

On February 11, Qatar issued new guidelines aimed at protecting expatriate workers, suggesting they should be paid properly and promptly and housed adequately.

The embassy in Qatar says that the exact number of Indians in Qatar is unknown, but it was estimated at close to 500,000 at the end of 2012, about 26 per cent of Qatar's total population.

Under India's Right to Information law, government bodies are bound to hand over information requested by members of the public or journalists providing it is not harmful to the national interest.