Saudi Arabia will deport 16 Chinese workers for participating in riots, which erupted in Makkah two days ago to demand higher wages, the Saudi Arabic language daily Alwatan reported on Thursday.
The workers belong to the Chinese company which has built Makkah’s first railway metro to transport Muslim pilgrims into and out of the city, Islam’s holiest shrine, during the Haj (pilgrimage) season, it said.
“Authorities are taking measures to deport those 16 workers after investigation showed they were involved in the riots that resulted in the damage of four cars…they also instigated their colleagues to stop work to demand higher wages because of the hot weather,” the paper said.
The paper quoted Major Abdul Mohsen Meman, police spokesman in Makkah, as saying the 16 had been transferred to a police centre outside Makkah pending their deportation.
“Any one who is involved in riots will be deported…these workers could have resorted to lawful ways to demand higher salaries instead of causing agitation and riots,” he said.
China Railway Construction Corp has won the SR6.7-billion (Dh6.5bn) contract to build the train, which will serve nearly 170,000 pilgrims during the forthcoming Haj in mid November.
The train will have a capacity to transport two million pilgrims during the four-day Haj when all its three stages are completed.