Vikash Sharma

Around 21 bonded labourers, including 11 minors, from Odisha were rescued from Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya station in Varanasi on Wednesday. All the labourers are reportedly from Rayagada district and they were taken to Uttar Pradesh for engagement in a factory.

Though all of them were promised a salary of Rs 12,000 per month, they were getting much less. Apart from being denied wages, they were allegedly subjected to torture and threatened by the owner whenever they wanted to visit home back in Odisha.

Fed up with the atrocities, the labourers managed to escape from the factory and reach Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya station. A team of local RPF during patrolling spotted the labourers who were in a state of panic. Later, they narrated the ordeal before the RPF officials.

After rescuing them, the officials have handed over their custody to Bachpan Banchao Andolan organisation.

“All of the rescued labourers were in a state of panic. Only after inquiry, we learnt that they were engaged at a factory and were not getting wages as assured,” said RPF SP, Harinarayan Ram.

As per sources, efforts are underway to shift the rescued labourers, including minors to their respective village in Odisha. A raid was also conducted on the factory which had engaged them without wages, sources said.

(Reported by Arvind Gupta)