127 bonded laborers freed from brick kiln

Though the suspect was arrested and remanded to judicial custody, the laborers said they wanted to return to their homes as they said they were being abused and felt unsafe.

Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh): Following a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Aligarh district administration has rescued 127 bonded laborers from a brick kiln located in the Bansali village.

The rescued persons included 67 children.

All the rescued persons have been sent home to Bihar’s Nawada.

According to reports, one of the laborers, last month, had lodged an FIR for alleged sexual assault of a minor girl by the brick kiln owner’s relative.

Though the suspect was arrested and remanded to judicial custody, the laborers said they wanted to return to their homes as they said they were being abused and felt unsafe.

Circle officer, Iglas, Mohsin Khan, confirmed the sexual assault incident and said that the same was reported on the day of Holi.

The police had arrested the 20-year-old man accused for committing the crime.

Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Iglas) Kuldev Singh said that a 3-member committee was formed by the district magistrate to inquire the allegations and during inquiry, it was found that the laborers wanted to go back to their homes in Bihar.

A bus was arranged for them and they left on Tuesday.

Officials said that each laborer was being paid Rs 400 per thousand bricks that he or she made. Each laborer made around 2,000 bricks in a day.

The laborers had taken an advance of Rs 25,000 each before coming to work here.

Meanwhile, the owner of the brick kiln named Sri Radhe Eit Udyog, Munni Devi, and her son Jitendra Singh have been booked under sections 16, 17 of the Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act 1976 and can be punished up to three years of imprisonment, along with Rs 2,000 fine, by the sub-divisional magistrate.

The owner will also be booked for non-maintenance of records of bonded laborers. In addition, there was also violation of inter-state migrant workmen Act, 1979, under which a licence is required for employing more than five workers from other states.

The labor department of Bihar is also being informed so that the rehabilitation of the rescued people, after completing the summary trial in the SDM court, can be done and they can be given prescribed compensation.

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