19 bonded labourers freed
Kancheepuram, June 8
Authorities have released 19 persons, including nine women and five boys, working as bonded labourers at a brick kiln near Chengalpattu in this district of Tamil Nadu.
The labourers were freed yesterday following a complaint filed by a voluntary organisation about an illegal practice which had reportedly led to the death of a woman worker at the kiln in Palur last week. Police said 20 persons, belonging to Pudukottai village, near Usilampatti, in Madurai district, had joined as daily labourers at the brick kiln after taking Rs 15,000 from the kiln owner Krishna Kumar. They were subsequently treated as bonded labourers, with the owner not paying them properly.
Ten days ago, Azhagammal, one of the labourers in the team, died allegedly due to starvation. A few days later, another woman labourer, Panchammal, was admitted to hospital on account of illness. In the meanwhile, the Pudukottai-based United Village Development Association filed a complaint in this regard with the newly-appointed District Collector Rajaraman, who took steps for the immediate release of the labourers. UNI