The National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to Karnataka on media reports that around 8,000 people still make a living through the banned practice of manual scavenging in the State.

The Commission, which suo motu took cognizance of the reports, said that if they were true, they raised a serious issue of violation of the human rights of those engaged in the inhuman job.

The notice, returnable in four weeks, asked the Chief Secretary to specify the districts where manual scavenging was still prevalent and list the steps the government had taken for its eradication after the State adopted the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993, in 1997.

The reports said manual scavenging was banned in the State in 1970, yet about 8,000 persons were engaged in the job, especially at Kennedy Lances in Kolar Gold Fields.