Monday, October 31, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Dalit woman alleges bonded labour system

MADURAI, October 29, 2011
Dalit woman alleges bonded labour system
Staff Reporter

A Dalit woman from Thiruthangal in Sivakasi Taluk of Virudhunagar
district has filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court
Benchalleging that many children from Tamil Nadu were being employed
as bonded labourers in an edible chips company at Kannur district in

According to the petitioner, G. Muniyammal (40), her husband died in
2002. She brought up her two sons and a daughter by working as a daily
wage labourer in a fireworks factory. In April this year, a
co-villager lured her to send her son for employment in Kerala. She
accepted the offer and sent her son to the chips company after
receiving Rs. 3,000 in advance.

At that time, her son was assured of decent employment, good food and
a reasonable salary. But suddenly, he came back home on July 13 with
burn injuries all over his body. On enquiry, he told her that he was
beaten up brutally and treated inhumanly in the chips company.

Immediately, he was admitted to the N.R.K. Rajarathinam Government
Hospital at Sivakasi and a complaint was lodged with the Thiruthangal
police on July 12.

Subsequently, a representation was also sent to the Special Officer,
Bonded Labour System Abolition-cum-Director, Adi Dravidar Welfare
Department, to take steps to rescue the other children who were
employed as bonded labourers in the chips company.

The complaint disclosed cognisable offences under Section 326 (causing
grievous hurt with dangerous weapons), 307 (attempt to murder), 506
part II (criminal intimidation) and 294b (uttering obscene words) of
the Indian Penal Code besides the provisions of the Scheduled Castes
and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. Nevertheless,
neither the police registered any case against the chips company nor
the Special Officer took steps to rescue the child labourers, the
petitioner alleged and sought for a direction to register a case
forthwith on the basis of her complaint.

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