Chhattisgarh Govt Probes Complaints Of Bonded Labour In J&K

File photo  of brick kiln

Raipur- The Chhattisgarh government on Wednesday sent a team of its officials, including an executive magistrate, to Jammu and Kashmir to examine the complaints about workers from the state being forced to work as ”bonded” labourers at some brick kilns there, an official here said.

The three-member team comprises Nayab Tehsildar/Executive Magistrate Kishan Mishra, Labour Inspector L S Markam and Assistant Sub Inspector Lambodar Singh Banafar, he said.

There were complaints that people from Janjgir-Champa and Sakti districts, who had gone for work at brick kilns in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, were working as bonded labourers, the state’s public relations department official said in a statement.

Sakti was carved out from Janjgir-Champa to form a new district last week.

Taking cognisance of the complaints, the Janjgir-Champa district administration contacted its Budgam counterpart following which the latter swung into action, he said.

A joint team of Budgam administration officials on September 13 inspected a brick kiln in Dangarpura in the district, during which it came to light that it is not a case of bonded labour, but there was an issue of payments to workers which was resolved, he said.

”A total of 64 labourers from Chhattisgarh were working there, of whom 27 wanted to return home, following which the arrangements were made for their return,” he said.

Acting over another complaint, a joint team of officials from Budgam inspected Mangepura brick kiln, during which a similar case of payment was unearthed, he said.

However, on the direction of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, the three member team was sent to Jammu and Kashmir for examining the complaints and taking necessary action accordingly, he said.

Earlier, The National Campaign Committee for Eradication of Bonded Labour (NCCEBL), an umbrella organisation of activists, had raised the issue and filed a complaint that 90 migrant and ‘bonded’ labourers from Chhattisgarh are stuck in the brick kiln at Mangepura in Budgam, said Nirmal Gorana, the convenor of the NCCEBL said in a statement on Wednesday.

The stranded labourers include pregnant and lactating mothers who are refused with medical facilities by the contractors, he said.

Some purported videos of these labourers were also being shared on social media, in which they are heard seeking help for their release.

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