EIGHT migrant labourers from Uttar Pradesh, including two specially-abled and one minor, were rescued from a paper mill in Baramati on Monday after they were allegedly subjected to forced labour for more than two months.
According to police, the mill owner and employees allegedly starved them, beat them up and locked them up in a room at night, police said. Their Aadhaar card and cellphones had also been taken away, police said.
The incident came to light when some activists from a social outfit approached police Sunday.
An FIR has been lodged at Baramati taluka police station on the complaint of a 43-year-old labourer, one of the eight rescued. Police have booked owner of Balkrishna Paper Mill Santosh Singh, manager Sanjay Singh and supervisor Mahavir Singh. The three are at large, said police. Assistant inspector P V Kale said the suspects will soon be arrested. The trio has been booked under IPC sections 374 (unlawful compulsory labour), 344 (wrongful confinement for ten or more days), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 506 (criminal intimidation).
A police officer said, “These workers are here since two
months ago when they came in search of work. As per the complaint, the workers were made to work for 12 to 18 hours daily in horrible conditions and were often not given food. After midnight, they were locked up in a small room. When some of them tried to call up their family members in Uttar Pradesh, they were brutally thrashed and their Aadhaar cards and cellphones snatched.” The officer added, “Recently, one of them managed to get in touch with a family member, who came to Baramati and approached a local outfit which informed us.”