52 bonded labourers rescued in Hassan

Superintendent of Police A N Prakash Gowda and staff conducted a raid and rescued the bonded labourers at Savamkanahalli under Dudda Police station limits.

The police rescued 52 bonded labourers, including four children, belonging to various districts in the state and arrested two persons in this regard, in the taluk on Monday.

Superintendent of Police A N Prakash Gowda and staff conducted a raid and rescued the bonded labourers at Savamkanahalli under Dudda Police station limits.

Munesh, alias Murali, who had taken a plot of land on lease from Krishnegowda of the same village, is alleged to have used four children, 17 women and 31 men as bonded labourers. The labourers were assured of jobs with good wages, it is learnt.

The arrested are mason Munesh and Basavaraj. The police have also seized five vehicles, including a motorbike and a car. It is alleged that the workers were monitored round-the-clock. Even if they wanted to attend to nature’s call, a watchman used to accompany them. They were made to stay in thatched huts and had only gunny sacks to protect themselves from the chill, during the night.

The rescued are now staying at Morarji Desai Residential school. One of the labourers, Krishnappa, who had escaped from the group informed the police about the bonded labour.

Santhosh, one of the rescued, said, the workers are from Andhra Pradesh, Vijayapura, Hubballi, Dharwad and Tumakuru districts. “We were treated in an inhuman way. The labourers were picked up and dropped by the contractor to work at fields. We were used for other agricultural purpose. If questioned, they used to assault us,” he said.

Manjamma said, women were not allowed to speak to each other. “We were allowed to take bath once in a month. We were not given any medical aid even if we fell sick. The land was fenced so that we could not escape. We were provided with rice and sambar three times a day,” she said.

DySP T R Puttaswamygowda said, cases have been registered under physical assault and violation of labour laws. Stern action would be taken against the guilty.

A report will be submitted to the District Administration, he said.

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52 bonded labourers rescued in Hassan

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