Nearly 55 workers from Katni, Madhya Pradesh, who were allegedly held back by a contractor for sugarcane-cutting work in Maharashtra’s Solapur district have safely returned to their native place on Saturday morning, police said.
In his tweet on Saturday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan praised his state officials, including Katni district collector Priyank Mishra, assistant collectors Rohit Sissoniya and Saurabh Sonawane, and Solapur superintendent of police Tejaswi Satpute for taking prompt action.
On being informed about the incident, Mishra asked his subordinates to look into the matter immediately. Soon, the Solapur police were informed too.
Satpute said, “We got a call from Madhya Pradesh officials about two days ago. We worked on the information and located the workers in the Mandrup area. A contractor had brought them to Solapur some days ago and employed them in sugarcane-cutting jobs which the workers had never done before. Eventually, the workers asked the contractor to send them back home but he denied to pay for their return journey.”
“The workers couldn’t afford to return to their home on their own. A police team then discussed the matter with the workers and the contractor as well. Within 24 hours, the police, with the help of social activists, arranged a bus, food and woolen sheets for the workers and their family members, including children. They left Solapur on Friday and reached Madhya Pradesh early on Saturday morning,” he added.
On whether the workers were tortured, Satpute said no such complaint was lodged by the workers.