Labourer at silk factory rescued by Bengaluru City Police; Labour Dept. launches probe

He was found chained to iron stairs inside factory premises

Updated - December 27, 2023 10:32 pm IST

Published - December 27, 2023 08:41 pm IST - Bengaluru

A day after police and officials of the Revenue Department rescued a 24-year-old labourer who was chained at a silk factory in Ramanagara for nine days and forced to work, the Labour Department launched a probe against the factory on Wednesday, December 27. They recorded the statement of 20 workers on working conditions at the factory.

The police, on Tuesday, raided SIU Silks Factory situated in Mehaboob Nagara, Ramanagar, and rescued Mohammed Waseem, who had been chained and forced to work for nine days without a break to recover the ₹1.5 lakh loan he had taken from the owner.

Inquiries revealed that Waseem had joined the factory five months ago and had taken an advance amount of ₹1.5 lakh for a family emergency. Due to unavoidable circumstances, Waseem could not attend work for a month and later went to work nine days ago to resume duty. Enraged by this, the factory owner, Syed Isam, and supervisor, Syed Amjad, detained him illegally and chained him on the factory premises, asking him to work until he clears the dues.

Based on a tip-off, officials of the Ramanagara town police and Revenue Department raided the factory, rescued Waseem, and arrested Isam and Amjad. The duo have been charged under the Bonded Labour (Abolition) Act and also under Section 343 (wrongful confinement) and 374 (unlawful compulsory labour) of IPC against them.

Waseem was found chained to iron stairs situated inside the factory premises at the steaming unit. Waseem was made to sleep under the stairs, and the police found the key to the lock next to the electric panel board. The police removed the chains and sent Waseem for medical treatment as he was exhausted.

On Wednesday, officials of the Labour Department visited SIU Silks Factory, a silk reeling unit, and inspected it. The officials recorded the statement of 20 workers, including 15 male and five female workers, and found that the factory has not maintained any records.

Inspection revealed that though the factory had an official weekly holiday on Friday, they did not have any records, including employee details, salary disbursement, allowance, and other benefits entitled to workers. The officials have issued a notice to the factory owner to furnish the records, including Waseem’s salary so far. A notice to Isam said that The documents mentioned below should be submitted within a week, failing which legal action will be initiated.

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