BARGARH: At least 22 migrant labourers who faced torture at a brick kiln in Telangana, were rescued along with 11 minors by Labour department officials on Thursday. While they are on their way back home, two more workers have been held captive by owner of the kiln.
In December last year, a group of 24 labourers along with 11 minors from Jogendranathpur under Paikmal police limits in Bargarh had gone to Telangana to work at the kiln.
However, a month after, the owner started torturing them. The incident came to fore after the labourers contacted a Bargarh-based social activist seeking help and sent him a video showing their plight. The activist shared the video on social media and the location of the kiln was identified.
The labours in the video alleged that the owner was not giving them proper food and daily wages. They were being forced to work for more than 12 hours and physically assaulted if they refused. They requested the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to help.
On Thursday morning, 22 labours and 11 minors were rescued from the brick kiln located in the midst of a forest in Peddapalli district under Ramagiri police limits by officials of Telangana Labour Commission and their Odisha counterparts.
Bargarh Labour department officials informed that the labourers have boarded a train from Nagpur and will get down at Khariar in Nuapada from where they will be taken back to their village. The two labourers who are still under the custody of the kiln owner have been identified as Jalandar (48) and Kulamani Bariha (19). Owner of the kiln is at large.
Social Media to Rescue
- The labourers sent a video to an activist through WhatsApp who posted it on Twitter
- They sent location through WhatsApp and using Google Maps, the activist found the kiln at a forest in Peddapalli district
- Telangana and Odisha labour officials were informed on Twitter who began the rescue work