Officials in the district rescued 77 persons, including children, who were allegedly forced into bonded labour at a private yarn processing mill in Erode on Monday.
Mayor Mallika Paramasivam, who received information from the people living in Arumugam Street in Karungalpalayam area about the bonded labourers, alerted police and revenue officials.
A team of police personnel monitored the mill for the past 10 days and the preliminary investigations revealed that persons were forced into bonded labour at the mill.
A team of officials led by the Mayor conducted a surprise check at the mill on Monday afternoon and rescued 77 bonded labourers. The labourers included more than 30 children.
Official sources said the labourers were brought to the mill from different parts of Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts. Many labourers claimed that they were paid a sum of Rs. 10,000 as advance to work at the mill. It had been several months since they were allowed to visit their home. “We were forced to work in the unit as there was no employment opportunities in our area, ” said the labourers from Marandahalli in Dharmapuri district.
Collector V.K. Shanmugam and District Revenue Officer S. Ganesh also rushed to the spot and directed the authorities to conduct a detail probe.
“A case will be registered against the management of the mill and a detailed investigation launched. In the preliminary enquiry, we found the mill did not have proper approval from the authorities,” he said. Doctors from the GH have been asked to examine the children to determine their age.