Police rescue 133 minors from spinning mill in Avinashi

Tiruppur Collector K. Vijayakarthikeyan looks on as the rescued minors board a bus at the Collectorate on Friday for their respective home towns.

Tiruppur Collector K. Vijayakarthikeyan looks on as the rescued minors board a bus at the Collectorate on Friday for their respective home towns.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Nearly 10 days after the rescue of 40 minors from a private spinning mill near Avinashi here, a team of officers from Tiruppur District Police rescued 133 minors from the same place on Thursday.

The team led by Superintendent of Police Disha Mittal along with officials from the Labour Department visited the mill in Alathurmedu on Thursday following Madras High Court directions.

Justice N. Kirubakaran directed the inspection based on a habeas corpus petition filed by C.M. Sivababu, president of Tamil Makkal Desiya Katchi from Tiruvannamalai, which said that six minors from Tiruvannamalai district were “illegally confined” in the mill.

Ms. Mittal told The Hindu on Friday that upon inspecting the mill, the police team found 133 minors – 118 girls and 15 boys aged between 14 and 18 years – working in the mill. “We found five girls in the mill and one girl had already left for her home town in Tiruvannamalai district,” she said. There were 332 workers in the mill, of which 133 were minors. Most of them were from Tiruvannamalai and were brought to the mill without e-passes, Ms. Mittal said.

Cheyur police registered a case against the mill owners on Thursday for violation of COVID-19 lockdown.

The five rescued girls were produced for a Madras High Court hearing via video-conferencing from Tiruppur on Friday. Another girl was produced from Tiruvannamalai district. Justices N. Kirubakaran and V.M. Velumani asked the nine respondents in the case, including Tiruppur District Collector K. Vijayakarthikeyan, Joint Commissioner of Labour, Coimbatore, and owners of the spinning mill, to file an affidavit in two weeks, according to police sources.

Following the rescue, the 133 minors were made to stay at the hostel in the spinning mill with police protection. Officials from Child Welfare Committee would decide on shifting them to homes and would inquire whether they were coerced to work in the mill, the sources said.

Meanwhile, the Tiruppur district administration on Friday arranged for the transport of the 40 minors rescued on July 28. They were sent in buses with Child Welfare Committee officials to their home towns in Tiruvannamalai, Vellore and Tirupattur districts. Mr. Vijayakarthikeyan said a case against the spinning mill was pending at the Madras High Court, based on which action would be initiated against the mill.

“All officials have been instructed to ensure that cases like this do not occur again in Tiruppur district,” Mr. Vijayakarthikeyan said.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 10:54:35 PM |

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