58 girls from Chhattisgarh were employed as bonded labourers

Cases have been registered under a host of sections against the owner and two managers of the Gem Agro Exports firm at Manikattipudur in the district from where 58 girls from Chhattisgarh, who were employed as bonded labourers, were rescued on Monday. The three are absconding.

They were booked under Section 9 (proceeding for the enforcement of any obligation under the bonded labour system), Section 16 (punishment for enforcement of bonded labour), Section 17 (punishment for advancement of bonded debt), Section 18 (punishment for extracting bonded labour under the bonded labour system) and Section 20 (Abetment to an offence) of Bonded Labour System Abolition Act, 1976.

Velagoundampatti Police Inspector J. Subash said they were also booked under Sections 370 (for buying or disposing of any person as slave) and 374 (for unlawful compulsory labour) of the IPC. The girls left for Chhattisgarh late on Monday.

Sub Collector of Namakkal, Ajay Yadav, told The Hindu on Tuesday that the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the Labour Department are looking into other violations by the firm. The incident was an eye-opener to the administration and it would monitor other units that could be employing bonded labourers.

Keywords: bonded labour

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