Following a raid by Dera Bassi SDM Puneet Goyal on the directions of the High Court,31 labourers,including eight women and 15 children,were rescued from a brick kiln at Jyoli village in Lalru today.
Most of the children were found ill and have been admitted in the Civil Hospital.
Goyal told Newsline that one Anju,in a petition to the Punjab and Haryana High Court,had said that some of her folks were working as bonded labourers in RC Vikram Bricks Kiln. Justice Kanwarjeet Singh had then issued orders to the Punjab government for their immediate rescue. Mohali DC Rahul Bhandari ordered the Dera Bassi SDM to conduct a raid.
Goyal was accompanied by local police officials and labour inspector Sunil Boriwal. The SDM said there was no kiln in the name of RC Vikram Bricks in the village,and after investigations they found that the kiln was on lease with Abhishek Singla,who later disclosed that the labourers were kept in captivity in the nearby Kheri Jatta village. The police rescued eight families,who were forcibly involved in the job of digging land.
The labourers were working in extremely harsh conditions and were poorly fed. Some of them,including Sukhpal Singh,Sanjay,Satvir,Rajiv and Sanju,said they were not allowed to go out.
Tarsem Jodha,State Secretary of the Punjab Bhattha Mazdoor Union,said thousands of labourers were bonded in Punjab,and the Inter-State Migrate Labour Act should be strictly followed and raids conducted at all brick kilns. Abhishek Singla,owner of the brick kiln,however,said nobody was forced to work and the labourers were paid their wages in advance. Goyal said he would forward his report to higher officials.