Cassian Baliarsingh

A day after Labour Minister Sarada Prasad Nayak informed the Assembly that at least 60 migrant labourers from Odisha have died in other states in the last six years, the family members of a migrant worker from Jharabahali village under Muribahal police limits of Bolangir district alleged that he has been murdered.

The deceased, Mitra Seth, had gone to work in Telangana in October last year. Just 19 days later, Mitra’s family members were informed that he had died. However, family members suspect foul play as he was hail and hefty when he had left for Telangana.

The family members alleged that he was murdered and demanded justice. The family members have not even received his body. With a photo of her son in her hand, Mitra’s mother had been running from pillar to post seeking justice.

“A man named Sushant Patra had taken my son. My son had gone to earn bread and butter for our family, but Sushant has killed him,” Mitra’s mother Padma Seth alleged.

Similarly, Mitra’s brother said, “He left the village on October 10 and reached there on October 12. We knew that he worked at a brick kiln till October 29. They are claiming that he had been to the toilet and did not return. However, we suspect that my brother was killed.”

Read | 60 migrant Workers from Odisha Died Outside the State Since 2018: Minister

No comments could be received from the administration officials in this regard.

On Thursday, Labour Minister Sarada Prasad Nayak informed the House that 5,440 migrant labourers have been rescued from other states based on 322 complaints and information received from labourers in distress from 2018 till now. He was replying to a question posed by BJP leader Kusum Tete in the Assembly.

The Minister said the government has so far paid Rs 64,24,807 to the eligible migrant labourers as compensation for death and disability at the workplace under various provisions of the Odisha Building and Other Construction Workers' Welfare Board, Odisha Unorganised Workers' Social Security Board, and The Employee’s Compensation Act, 1923.

Nayak said that 1,231 contractors have been issued licences under the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979 to employ 81,232 migrant labourers outside the state.