City police raided three houses and rescued 68 alleged child labourers from a schoolbag-making factory on Modi Road in D J Halli on Monday. The children were handed over to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), under police protection.
According to police sources, the raid was conducted around 11.30 am. Six men, all natives of Bihar, have been accused of employing the children. The accused were Abdul Kalam, Sharaf Raj, Fayaz, Mohammed Arafath, Mohammed Fazam and Mohammed Muthiullah. They are said to have been running the factory without any name or license, the police said.
The children hail from Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal and were brought to the city a few months ago. Police said they were being paid `3,000 to 4,000 per month and were given shelter within the factory premises.
The accused completely violated the Labour Act and forced the children to work, they added.
District Child Protection Officer Divya Narayanappa told Express that the children will be housed at the Bala Mandira and the Child Welfare Committee will contact the concerned departments in Nepal, Bihar and other locations to get the children repatriated.
“We will hand them over to the respective CWCs through local organisations identified by their governments.
“In these cases, people often come to CWC posing as the kids’ parents, but they are actually traffickers. We won’t release the children to such people. They will continue to stay at the children’s home till they are sent back to their homes,” she said.