A day after the police arrested a labour contractor and his accomplices for chopping off palms of two migrant labourers of Kalahandi district,Orissa officials rescued 619 labourers including around 170 children who were about to be trafficked to Uttar Pradesh to work in brick kilns.
Nuapara SP Umashankar Das said that on receiving a tip-off,the labourers were rescued by police and labour department officials from Khariar Road station in Orissa. The labourers were being taken from Chhattisgarh and Nuapara and Bargarh districts of Orissa to UP.
The six contractors who were taking the migrants to Ayodhaya and towns around it,however,managed to give the police the slip a few hours before the raid. The SP said the labourers had only a vague idea about where they were going.
Nuaparas district labour officer,Niranjan Kumura,said the contractors had not been registered with the labour department which is mandatory under the Inter State Migrant Workman Act,1979. We have prepared a report and have asked Khariar Road police station to treat it as an FIR. The police will file a separate case under IPC, he said.
The labourers were each paid Rs 10-15,000. We told them not to go with the contractor till he gets a licence from our department. We have sent them back to their respective homes, he added.
Of the 28 labour contractors who have registered themselves with Nuapara district labour office this year only a dozen have so far sent labourers to work in brick kilns in Andhra Pradesh and other States. Quite a few are still doing it illegally, said Kumura. As per the Act,contractors are supposed to register the names and addresses of each labourer they are sending for work.
Kumura said the contractor had even paid for the children who accompanied their parents. The children are not supposed to work in brick kilns, he said.