Four children and seven adults from Odisha, who were employed as bonded laborers at a brick kiln on the outskirts of Bangalore, have been rescued by the Bangalore rural district police on the basis of information provided by the NGO International Justice Mission (IJM). The 11 rescued persons were working at Adigondanahalli village near Attibele around 30 km from Bangalore.
The owner of the brick kiln identified as Purushothama Reddy was arrested and remanded to judicial custody till October 23. He was charged under the Indian Penal Code’ section 370 (buying or disposing of any person as a slave) and the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act of 1976.
Police said that the rescue operation was carried out jointly by a team of police men and officials of the district administration based on information provided by IJM. Three men, four women and four children were rescued. Police said that the victims belonged to three families hailing from Bolangir in Odisha. They had been employed at the kiln as bonded workers for the last nine months.
Following the rescue the 11 persons were sent back to Odisha, police said. Officials said that workers were not allowed to return home for festivals or funerals. The workers were paid wages below the minimum wages and were forced to work on all seven days of the week from 5:00 am till 7:00 pm. All of the rescued are members of Scheduled Tribes.