Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Mar 19:
The Odisha Human Right Commission (OHRC) on Wednesday directed the State’s Chief Secretary, Labour Commissioner and the Collector and Superintendent of Police (SP), Bargarh district to file a detailed report within three weeks for their alleged failure in safeguarding 21 migrant workers of the district.
The family members of the workers, along with Goti Shramika Surakhya Mancha leader Rukmana Dev and social activist Biswapriya Kanungo, had submitted a petition on the issue at OHRC today.
Abujha Amari, a migrant worker, said around 27 people, including women and children, from Bhaludunguri, Baidapali, Luhakhen and Tihigaon villages had been taken by two middlemen in January this year to work in a brick kiln run by one Kishan Seth in Chapatandi under Karimnagar police limits in Andhra Pradesh with the promise of good wages and comfort.
“After one month of hard work, the owner of the brick kilns started ignoring us. We were deprived of even basic necessities. Later, they tortured us physically as well as mentally,” Amari said.
“Somehow, I, along with five others, managed to escape from the kiln and reached our homes contacting our family members. Twenty one others are still captive in the kilns who need to be rescued urgently,” the victim informed.
After reaching their home, they lodged a complaint with Gaisilat police station on February 20 last month narrating their torture and requesting the police to rescue the others still held captive.
“But till date, police have not taken any action against the middlemen or arrested the owner of the brick kilns. No action has been initiated by them to rescue the others either,” the family member alleged.
“We had informed the whole matter to the Collector, SP, Labour Commissioner of the Bargarh district, but in vain,” they said.
The family members have requested OHRC chairperson to rescue the 21 workers still held captive by the brick kiln owner.