Bolangir: After being rescued by native villagers of Bandhupalli in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, 12 migrant labourers including four minors of Bolangir district who were stranded at a brick kiln in the neighbouring State finally returned to Odisha on Thursday.
The rescued labourers reached Bolangir Railway Station last evening where they were reviewed by the District Labour Officer.
As per sources, in December last year, the labourers went to work at a brick kiln in Srikakulam through an agent named Gagan Suna. But they were allegedly 'held captive' and deprived of food and payment by the brick kiln owner after the work site was shut down by the Government on February 8.
The matter came to light after a report in connection with the incident was telecast on OTV. Acting on the media report, Bolangir district labour department initiated steps to rescue the stranded labourers. But even before the Government could help them, the natives of local Bandhupalli village rescued the bonded labourers from the clutches of their abusive owner.
"We had to suffer for many days without food and amenities and were also mentally and physically harassed. We demand justice and strict action against the accused brick kiln owner and the agent," said, Belamati Bag, a rescued migrant labourer.
Bolangir District Labour Officer Niranjan Bhuyan said, "The labourers will be provided necessary financial support through various schemes of Government. According to the statements of the migrant labourers, an investigation has been initiated and action will be taken against the agent and other accused."