Victims allegedly suffered deprivation and torture at the work place

Forty-seven young labourers, including 24 from Chhattisgarh and 12 from Assam, most of them girls, were rescued from bondage in P.V. Spinning Mill at Vinnapalli village near Sathyamangalam in Erode district by a team of officials on Monday night. The remaining 11 workers are all girls belonging to various parts of Tamil Nadu.

Twenty of the youngsters from Chhattisgarh and six from Assam are girls, official sources said.

After a mandatory inquiry with the rescued persons, Satyamangalam Tahsildar T. Muthuramalingam and Gobichettipalayam Revenue Divisional Officer In-Charge Adhimoolam submitted a report to the Erode District Collector V.K. Shanmugam on Tuesday evening. The Collector said legal action against the company would follow. A team of officials from Chhattisgarh is also making inquiries.

Each of the rescued labourers would be given a release certificate and Rs. 1,000 and sent home on Wednesday, District Revenue Officer S. Ganesh said. Appropriate action would be initiated against the erring company, he said.

S. Vanjari, Child Welfare Officer, Narayanpur district, Chhattisgarh, expressed happiness over the prompt action taken by officials in Tamil Nadu. Others in the Chhattisgarh delegation that is in Tamil Nadu to take the youngsters of their State home included R.K. Kumeti, Labour Inspector, and B.R. Pisda, Revenue Inspector. Pankaj Masih, Project Manager of non-governmental organisation Jan Jagriti Kendra, accompanied the Chhattisgarh team.

The officials housed the labourers in a marriage hall at Puliampatti.

A local agent had enticed the youngsters to take up job at the mill promising a monthly remuneration of Rs. 6,000 and good working environment. But, they were overworked and had to live in pitiable conditions.

They were not given proper food and subjected to torture by the mill management, M. Thangavel, Director of Tirupur-based Vizhudhugal, an NGO involved in the rescue operation, said.

The team had primarily gone to the spinning mill on Monday to rescue the young girls of Chhattisgarh. On learning about the presence of the team, inmates of a women’s hostel belonging to Assam approached the officials and pleaded that they too be released from bondage, Mr. Thangavel said.

The issue came to light when two girls of the Chhattisgarh group recently escaped from bondage and lodged a complaint with the district administration of Narayanpur in their home State. The Chhattisgarh delegation called on the Erode Collector and apprised him of the situation on Monday. Subsequently, the local rescue team visited the spinning mill and set free the youngsters from bondage.

The Secretary of the Erode unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) P. Marimuthu demanded that the industry be sealed.

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