Nowshera (J and K), Mar.1 (ANI): The sub-divisional magistrate of Nowshera, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, today sealed OMS Brick Kiln in Sunderbani Tehsil and released 23 bonded labourers from the custody of owner.
The brick kiln was found operating in violation of norms. It had engaged bonded labourers and children in a hazardous occupation.
Action was taken after a fortnight-long enquiry into allegations of bonded labour in some brick kilns of Rajouri District.
A team was constituted earlier this month to enquire into the allegations of bonded labour.
Choudhary and his team recorded statements of all the labourers. It was found that in all 210 labourers were working. Four families comprising 23 members were found to be bonded labourers and 90 children were engaged by the labourers to make bricks.
The officials also discovered that the labourers were working under inhumane conditions, without proper shelter, water, power or sanitation.
They were also not receiving proper wages. The brick kiln was following unfair procedures in all kinds of transactions.
The four persons whose families have been released have been identified as Mohinder Pal, Charan Dass, Manharan Tandan and Lakshman Das. They had 23 members, including 13 children aged between 5 to 14 years.
All of them were purchased by the OMS Brick Kiln owner from Kasai Brick Kiln in Srinagar October last.
The Deputy Commissioner of Rajouri, G A Khwaja, on receiving an action taken report from Choudhary, has provided funds out of the Red Cross for the safe return and the travel arrangements of all these labourers to their native district of Janjgir in Chhatisgarh.
Meanwhile, the Additional Superintendent of Police for Nowshera has been asked by the sub-divisional magistrate to register a case against the owner of OMS Brick Kiln Sunderbani.
Another committee is being constituted to make enquiries against other brick kiln of the area.
The sub-divisional magistrate has further recommended that the Deputy Commissioner approach the State Human Rights Commissioner and the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights to hold a detailed enquiry into bonded labour trade between kiln owners and the employment of children in hazardous works. (ANI)
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