Forced labor in India — 37 bonded laborers rescued from Joura in Morena dist

The Times of India,  February 24, 2013

BHOPAL: The Morena district administration with the help on an NGO rescued 37 bonded labourers including women and children from a brick kiln in Joura tehsil.Sources in the district administration said, of these 21 labourers hail from Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh while other 16 are from Janjgir-Champa district of Chhattisgarh.

SDM Joura Prabhat Ranjan Upadhya told TOI, “16 labourers were rescued on February 21 and the remaining 21 were rescued on Saturday. The owners of the kiln Mahavir Tyagi and Rinku Tyagi have been booked under relevant labour laws”.

The labourers were rescued after the intervention of an NGO, Jan Sahas. The activists learnt about workers being kept as bonded labourers through a letter written to them by two labourers who had managed to escape from the clutches of employers.

Sajjan an activist, said, “Two labourers Kanhaiyalal and Devram managed to escape in December and they complained about the plight of their counterparts to the superintendent of police Janjgir-Champa of Chhattisgarh who in turn wrote to Morena SP on January 19, but no action was taken”.

The labourers who managed to escape also informed us, and we reached the spot after getting the information, he said.

“The workers were not allowed to move out alone and they were under strict surveillance. They were paid paltry amount only for purchasing food and other necessities,” Upadhya said.

The employers forced them to work claiming that some middle man have taken their wages in advance.

“These workers were forcefully detained to work since Diwali last year,” Sajjan said.

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