Muscat: Six Indian expatriate fishermen, who were stranded here following a pay dispute with their sponsor, were due to leave Muscat tonight after their sponsor agreed to let them go.

The six had run away from Masirah Island, about 445km east of Muscat, and sought help from the Indian Embassy to return home.

“Thanks to a report in Gulf News, we got all possible help in Muscat for our early return,” Kalpesh Vinod Koli, one of the fishermen, said on Sunday.

He also thanked Indian Social Club’s (ISC) Welfare Secretary P. M. Jabir and ISC Gujarati Wing’s Convener Chandrakant Chothani for their help.

“I got a call from their sponsor that they were willing to hand over passports and Resident Cards and cancel visas of all six fishermen if tickets were arranged for their return journey to India,” Jabir told Gulf News.

“They did not take any money towards costs from the fishermen,” Jabir further said.

The ISC welfare secretary then approached the embassy for help. “The embassy official readily agreed to provide six tickets and they are finally leaving today,” he said, adding that the mission also gave the fishermen a food allowance.

Koli said that Chothani was kind enough to arrange for their accommodation in Muscat at the camp of Cosmos Construction Company. “We can’t imagine what we would have done for the last one week without a place to stay in Muscat,” the fisherman said.

The six fishermen from Indian’s western state of Gujarat took three days to reach Muscat from Masirah as they feared they could be prevented from the leaving the island.

The six were unhappy with the remuneration they were getting from their sponsor since arriving here for work about eight months ago.

Yogesh Babu Koli, Gunjan Chotu Patel, Navin Kumar Harilal Mitta, Shantilal Babu Koli and Dashrat Narain Maachi are the other five fishermen leaving Muscat along with Koli.