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CHICKBALLAPUR: Nine bonded labourers, all from a Dalit family, were rescued from a brick kiln in Hosahoodya village on the outskirts of Chickballapur on Wednesday.
Kadirappa (60) of Bogenahalli in Gudibande taluk, his wife Gangamma and their sons, daughters and sons-in-law were allegedly working as bonded labourers from the past one year at the brick kiln belonging to one Narayanaswamy.
Mr. Kadirappa's daughter Ramalakshmi (13) and son Gangaraju (14) were among the rescued.
After the intervention of Jeeta Vimukti Karnataka, a NGO working for the cause of bonded labourers, officials rescued the labourers and issued them release certificates on Wednesday.
Chickballapur Assistant Commissioner Vasanth Kumar told presspersons that the zilla panchayat would immediately release Rs. 1,000 for each labourer and subsequently chalk out measures for their rehabilitation. Mr. Kadirappa said they were manhandled and their women folk ill-treated at the workplace.
“After the working hours, the owner used to lock us inside a room,” he claimed. Mr. Kadirappa had reportedly taken a loan of Rs. 20,000 from Mr. Narayanaswamy and he was unable to repay it.
When the labourers expressed their desire to go home, Narayanaswamy allegedly threatened them that they would meet the same fate as that of the “Orissa labourer,” Mr. Kadirappa claimed.
A few months ago, a bonded labourer from Orissa was allegedly murdered at a brick kiln in Chickballapur taluk.
Official sources said that two of Mr. Kadirappa's relatives, who were working at the kiln, had managed to escape to Andhra Pradesh two days ago. Efforts were on to trace and bring them back to Chickballapur. A case has been registered with the local police station.
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