Members of pro-Dalit organisations staged a protest in Hassan on Friday to demand that Dalits who have been working as bonded labourers at Ragimarur village in Arkalgud taluk be released and provided relief to take up alternative jobs.
Around 30 Dalit families in the village have been working as bonded labourers for landlords to clear loans taken years ago. The Hindu had reported their plight on August 15. Following media reports, Deputy Commissioner V. Anbukkumar visited the village and ordered for a probe into the issue.
‘No report yet’
The protesters said that though the Deputy Commissioner ordered the Assistant Commissioner of Sakleshpur subdivision to file a report in 15 days, no report had been submitted so far. According to the survey conducted by Jeevika, an NGO working for the release of bonded labourers in the State, more than 900 people are working as bonded labourers in the district.
Mr. Anbukkumar, who received a memorandum submitted by the protesters, instructed the District Social Welfare Officer to visit the village and workout a proposal to provide temporary relief to the bonded labourers. He also assured the protesters that the district administration would initiate measures to provide security to Dalits against atrocities, if any, in the village.