Bhubaneswar, Nov 19 (LocalWire): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today issued a notice to the chief secretary, government of Andhra Pradesh and sought a detailed report on the alleged torture of 32 Odia bonded labourers in a brick kiln.
The rights panel’s has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports of 32 bonded labourers from Odisha pleading for rescue from a brick kiln at Kanumpalli Cross in Garladinne mandal of Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh.
The labourers, held captive and tortured at the brick kiln, had shot off an SOS to their relatives and friends to come to their rescue.
‘The contents of the media report, if true, indicate that the district authorities have failed to do their lawful duty to protect the labourers from victimization hence, strict action is required to be taken against the delinquent officers and appropriate legal action is also required to be taken against the brick kiln owner. Accordingly, a detailed report has been sought in the matter within one week from the chief secretary of Andhra Pradesh,’ the commission observed.
The district authorities are expected to immediately rescue the labourers, issue release certificate and start process of the payment of the statutory relief, immediately.
The authorities are also expected to ensure safe journey of the rescued labourers to their native place and in case any of them requires medical/ health care assistance that should be provided without fail, the panel ruled.
‘It appears to be a case of violation of human rights of the victims. The labourers are being kept under bondage including children and women without any basic amenities which are in violation of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976. Strict action is required to be taken against the brick kiln owner as well as the officers concerned for their negligence,’ it stated.
‘Poor labourers are falling prey to violators of law across the country due to poverty and lack of education and awareness about the existing laws. The authorities are required to be more vigilant and the guilty are required to be punished without any delay, which is necessary to create a healthy environment for the labourers to work with dignity,’ the commission said.