Other States

Villager in Maharashtra booked for forcing tribal man into bonded labour

Police have registered an offence against a man at Mokhada in Maharashtra's Palghar district for allegedly forcing a tribal villager, who had borrowed ₹500 from him, into bonded labour, an official said.

The victim in the case, Kalu Dharma Pawar, died in July this year, nearly eight months after his son, a Class eight student, was found dead near their village, Katkariwadi, he said.

Police said Mr. Pawar had borrowed ₹500 from the accused, Ramdas Ambu Korde, as he did not have money to perform the final rites of his son, who died in November last year.

The case against Mr. Korde was registered based on the complaint filed by Mr. Pawar's 40-year-old wife recently.

Mokhada police station's assistant inspector Satish Gawai said the accused has not been arrested so far and Jawhar deputy superintendent of police was probing the case.

In her complaint, Mr. Pawar's wife said that her husband died on July 29 this year. Months before that, her son had gone missing a few days prior to Diwali last year and his body was later found in a valley near the village. Whether he committed suicide, fell accidentally or whether he was pushed by anyone is yet to be known.

As the family did not have money to buy a cloth to wrap the child's body for the final rites, her husband went to Mr. Korde and borrowed ₹500 from him. The accused asked the victim that instead of repaying the money he should work on his farm and also take the cattle for grazing, the complaint said.

As decided, after performing the last rites of his son, Mr. Pawar started working at Mr. Korde's house, but his wages were not fixed. Mr. Korde used to give him one bhakri (unleavened bread made of jowar, bajra or other flour) every morning, and he would then be given a meal at night, but nothing for lunch, she said in the complaint.

Whenever Mr. Pawar asked for wages, Mr. Korde would abuse him and threaten him of dire consequences, police said quoting the complaint.

Based on the complaint, Mokhada police have filed the case against Mr. Korde under sections of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, and under IPC section 374 ((unlawful compulsory labour), Mr. Gawai said.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 9:15:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/villager-in-maharashtra-booked-for-forcing-tribal-man-into-bonded-labour/article36010160.ece

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