Odia labourers in Kerala tortured by locals, police

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Calicut/Bhubaneswar: A group of Odia labourers working in Kerala alleged that they were tortured and threatened by the locals without any reason. Even they accused the police of taking sides with the local people instead of coming to their rescue.

The labourers from different areas of Nayagarh, Ganjam, Puri and Khurdha districts have been working as masons and other workers for long at Magaon area in Calicut district of Kerala. Local people allegedly thrashed them, vandalised their rented houses and forced them to vacate the place. “We are poor workers. As there is no work for us in Odisha, we have migrated to this State. We have not harmed anybody here. But, they are forcing us to leave the area,” an Odia labourer working there said.

He added that they would not leave the place under any circumstances.

Another labourer showed the vandalised home appliances in a video and approached for help. They have been staying in rented house, which have allegedly been locked up by police. Meanwhile, the Nayagarh district Labour officer assured them of all help. “We are contacting the local labourer officer. We will approach him to ensure their safe return with their eerier payment,” Nayagarh Labour officer Prasanna Singh said.

Meanwhile, Labour minister Prafulla Mallick took the matter seriously and told OTV, “I have asked the Labour commissioner to get in touch with his Kerala counterparts. He is also in touch with Kerala government. We are taking all possible measures for the safety of Odia people staying there.”

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