The Rajasthan Police have lodged an FIR against a private contractor for allegedly assaulting migrant labourers in Alwar district’s Neemrana, after they expressed their desire to return to their home state Jharkhand.
The labourers said that one of them sustained head injuries after the contractor assaulted him on Thursday, alleging that they were told to stay and work instead of going home.
“Ever since the lockdown, we have been stranded here. When we told this to our contractor Guddu on May 10 and told him that we wanted to go home, he said that we can’t and we will have to work here. He also refused to pay us our dues,” said 30-year-old Gautam Vishwakarma, a migrant labourer from Palamu district’s Bakhari village, who filed the FIR against the contractor.
Vishwakarma alleged that on Thursday morning the contractor entered into the house where he and more than 20 other migrant labourers are staying and assaulted him, which left him with a bleeding head.
“On Wednesday night, we decided to leave for home. We have registered with the government but so far nobody has approached us to help us return to Jharkhand. We had walked for around 30 kilometres when the contractor called us and told us to return. A little while later, the police arrived and drove us away. They also beat us and forced us to return,” claimed Surendra Singh, another labourer.
However, Bhiwadi superintendent of police, Amandeep Singh Kapoor denied that the police used any force on the migrants.
Vishwakarma told The Indian Express that on Thursday morning, the contractor arrived at their place.
“He assaulted me with a stick and I sustained injuries on my head for which I had to get stitches. We work in a casting factory and the contractor had recently also told a ration shop to not sell food items to us. We want to go home as we are left without any money,” said Vishwakarma.
The labourers had recorded videos, speaking of their plight which surfaced on the social media and the issue came into the notice of activists.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Jitendra alias Guddu, the contractor denied the allegations.
“I didn’t assault him. We are from the same village and when I went there on Thursday morning, Vishwakarma and the other labourers tried to threaten me. Their allegation of me not letting them leave Rajasthan is wrong too and I was trying to arrange for their transport. Earlier their families had tried to intimidate my family in our village and we registered an FIR against them in Jharkhand,” claimed Guddu.
Police have registered an FIR against Guddu under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the IPC.
“We have rounded up the accused, Guddu alias Jitendra to the police station for interrogation and are investigating the matter,” said assistant sub-inspector Omprakash of the Neemrana police station.
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