Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

As many as 14 Odia labourers from the coastal district of Kendrapara have been allegedly held captive in a plywood company in South Africa where they are also allegedly being tortured by the company staff.

Their ordeal came to the fore after some of the stranded workers requested Odisha government for their rescue.

As per reports, 14 people from Rajkanika block in Kendrapara were engaged in a plywood company at Gabon. However, they have alleged that the company employees tortured them. They further alleged that the owner of the company neither cleared their salaries for the last four months nor allowed them to return to the country. Being stranded on the company premises, the labourers are spending time like prisoners by remaining hungry for many days.

Narrating their ordeal through a video message, a labourer said, “We have been stranded on the company premises by its employees and going through ordeal. We have not got our salary for the last four months. We are spending time here without any food and water. Our family members are also in trouble as we are not able to send money to them. Even some of our family members are serious and they are helpless now.”

“We are living inside a forest and spending sleepless night here. We don’t have any medical facilities and going through severe problems. We request the Odisha government to make necessary arrangements for our safe return to the State,” said another stranded labourer.