Police, labour, revenue officials and MV Foundation members conduct joint operation
Three girls, two of them minors, were rescued from ‘bonded labour’ here on Saturday, in an operation jointly conducted by the police, the labour department, revenue officials, and activists from MV Foundation.
All the three girls were found confined in a flat belonging to one G. Srinivasa Rao, a contractor, in Meenakshi Apartments of Srinagar Colony, sources from M.V. Foundation said.
Of them, a girl aged 18 was brought, allegedly in a bonded labour agreement, from Kavitam Village in Podur mandal of West Godavari district six years ago.
Her sister aged nine, was made to join her two months ago, while the other girl, aged 13 was brought from Yerrampalem village near Rajahmundry nearly ten months ago.
The matter came to light when the mother of the first two girls approached a local media channel, alleging that the girls were being kept in illegal confinement despite her repeated requests to send them back home.
Father-in-law of Mr. Srinivasa Rao, who was instrumental in recruiting the girls, reportedly forced her to send the second daughter too on the pretext of releasing her first daughter.
Alerted by the channel, M.V. Foundation swung into action, and informed the revenue and labour officials about the illegal confinement.
“We reached there and found the girls locked inside the house. The employer was not there. After some time, his driver came with the house keys and said that the employer was out of town. We released all the three girls and sent the two minor girls to a rescue home,” said the Assistant Labour Officer Ashok Kumar who conducted the raid. The eldest daughter was sent with her mother as per her wish.
Cases were booked against the employer under the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act and Minimum Wages Act. Guilt, if proven, could result in penalty and imprisonment for the perpetrators, Mr. Ashok Kumar said.