Members of Int Bhatta Majdoor filed an FIR against a brick kiln contractor on Saturday on charges of allegedly raping one their fellow workers. The incident occurred in Khanpur village in Dehgam (Gandhinagar district) about a month ago when the victim was alone at her house.
The members alleged that the incident came to light after the victims brother was deceitfully called and locked up by Bhishram Amruji Bavadia,the accused contractor.
An FIR under Section 354 of the IPC has been lodged at the Rakhiyal police station. Sub-Inspector R R Wankar said: We have registered the case against the contractor of Chinubhai Int Bhatta where the victim and her husband worked. The victims husband was away when the incident took place. We are investigating the case.
According to social activists working in the sector,this is the first instance of an FIR being filed by any brick kiln worker against the owners or contractors.
This is the first time that a victim has come out openly about such an incident although these are quiet regular. The workers generally avoid going to the police unless something big happens and more so because these workers are migrants who come here from to make a living,said Reena Parmar,coordinator of the Prayas Centre for labour research.
She added: This incident happened on February 15,but the victim and her husband approached us only after the victims brother went up to the contractor and was beaten up and locked up in a room.
Dinesh Parmar,secretary of the Union said: The Union received this complaint of atrocity on the brick kiln worker involving rape,forcing the worker to work under bondage,and physical beating. The case came to us three days ago when the family finally decided to act after the contractor forcibly locked up the victims brother.
An FIR has been lodged by our union. Our Union now plans to file a case with the Labour Department for recovery of wages of the victim and her husband that the contractor has withheld.