6 bonded labourers rescued from sericulture unit

(Representative Image) (DH File Image)

Six bonded labourers and a four-year-old dependent child were rescued from a sericulture unit in Ramanagaram on the outskirts of Bengaluru following a raid conducted on September 30.

The raid was carried out based on information given by the International Justice Mission (IJM), an NGO, and conducted by the Assistant Commissioner of Ramanagaram, tahsildar, officials from the Labour Department, Social Welfare Department and Geology Department along with police. Ramanagaram Police have booked the accused owner of the sericulture unit under IPC sections 323 and 324 for assault and under sections 16 and 17 of the Bonded labour System (Abolition) Act of 1976.

Of the six victims, four were men and two were pregnant women. They had taken advances ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.8 lakh from the owner and they were working in the unit for a period ranging between 8 months and 8 years. Male labourers were paid Rs 250 and two female labourers were paid Rs 220 per day, officials said.

The victims were staying in rented houses in Ramanagaram and were forced to work from 7.30 am to 4 pm with a 30-minute lunch break. They were given half-day leave every other Friday and both men and women labourers were verbally and physically abused, said officials

The owner of the sericulture has been taken into police custody for questioning.

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