A 26-year-old man, said to be working as a bonded labourer, was allegedly burnt alive by his employer from whom he had taken a loan of Rs 5,000 in Madhya Pradesh’s Guna district.
Vijay Sahariya had been working on a field in the Bamori area, owned by one Radheshyam, for about three years. His family alleged that the employer had been angered that despite taking a loan from him, Sahariya had worked on a different field as well.
The police said that the employer called Sahariya on Friday night to a temple in Ukawad Khurd gram panchayat on the pretext of watering his field. He then allegedly poured kerosene on the labourer and set him afire, they said.
Sahariya was rushed to a government hospital in Bamori, and, owing to the lack of facilities, was shifted to the Guna district hospital where he died during treatment. The oldest of three brothers, he is survived by his wife and two children.
According to Narendra Bhadoria of rights group Bandhua Mukti Morcha, bonded labour is rampant in Guna. “Vijay worked as a bonded labourer for Radheshyam who was angry at him for working on someone else’s field,” said Bhadoria.
Guna Collector Purshottam Kumar, meanwhile, denied that Sahariya was a bonded labourer. He added that the police have booked Radheshyam under IPC Section 307 (attempt to murder) and other relevant sections of the IPC. “It is an unfortunate incident and we have disbursed Rs 8.5 lakh in the account of the family of the deceased,” said Kumar.
The Collector added that government will bear the expense of educating Vijay’s children as per provisions of SC/ST Atrocities Act.
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