BANGALORE: The Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU), along with the district administration and the police, have arrested an Anekal brick kiln owner for the practice of bonded labour.
Eleven people belonging to three families from Bolangir, Odisha, were rescued from the kiln. Among them were three young children who were also working, and a one-year-old infant.
After their release, they were taken to Attibele police station in Anekal taluk, where the district officials, including tahsildar Hanumantharayappa, and AHTU conducted a detailed inquiry. “This is one of several recent and notable cases in Bangalore Urban district in which AHTU, the district administration and the police have responded effectively,” said Esther Daniel, Director of System Reform of International Justice Mission (IJM), a city-based NGO which brought the case to the attention of AHTU.
The labourers were not allowed to return to their villages for festivals or funerals. All were paid less than the minimum wage and forced to work on all seven days from 5 am to 7 pm.
The families are from villages in Odisha and are members of Scheduled Tribes. One family had been working in the kiln for almost a year while the others came more recently. The labourers will return to their villages and be enrolled in IJM’s two-year rehabilitation programme.