Plea to rescue 17 Erode natives from Andhra prisons
A petition was submitted to the collector VK Shanmugam on Monday to take steps for the speedy release of 17 persons, all residents of Bargur hills, who were languishing in Chithoor and Renigunda prisons in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
In his petition, Madan, a member of the Solagar community, a tribal clan, and a causal labourer of Ondanai village on Bargur hills, said that nearly a month ago, local agents Chinnappi of Onnakarai and Veeerabadran of Thalakarai took 40 men, including his brother Badakallan (35), from Sundapur, Thalakarai, Tholli, Onnakarai and Thambureddy to Andhra Pradesh promising them bamboo cutting jobs with good salary.
All the 40 accepted the deal as there was no job opportunity available in their native villages .
After that there was no information from his brother and 22 persons of Tholli and Thamaraikarai returned home. On April 13, the body of Madan, son of Beliathampadi of Onnakarai, was brought to his village from Andhra Pradesh and was buried.
He came to know that the agents harassed the persons by using vandals and forced them to smuggle timber from forest areas there.
However, 22 out of the 40-member group managed to escape from the clutches of the agents and returned home .
The rest, including his brother, have been arrested by Andhra Pradesh police and were lodged in Renigunda and Chithoor prisons. Among them one died in the prison and the condition of two was said to be serious.
He appealed to the Collector to initiate steps to rescue the rest from the prisons and take action against the agents and their associates. He said that the agents promised to pay `10,000 as wage per week per person.