13 Odisha labourers ‘held captive’ at brick kiln in Telangana

Nabarangpur: In another shocking incident of unspeakable harassment of Odisha labourers outside the State, 13 migrant labourers from the state have allegedly been held captive and being exploited at a brick kiln in Telangana. The matter came to light after the labourers reportedly informed their family members about their plight.

According to sources, the 13 labourers, who belong to Bhatigaon of Nabarangpur district, were taken by middlemen to work at a brick kiln in Telangana in October last year. They middlemen promised Rs 10,000 salary and other perks to the labourers, sources said.

However, the labourers were allegedly not paid salary according to the contract and were thrashed when they demanded money from the contractor. As per allegations, they were not even allowed to return to their homes after their contract period of 3 months ended.

Feeling suspicious after the labourers did not return even after six months, the family members called them and came to know about their misery. The family members subsequently filed a complaint at Nabarangpur Police Station.

“My son said he was going for work for three months but six months have passed and he is yet to return. He said that they (brick kiln owners) are not allowing him to return. I want him back home as soon as possible,” said a labourer’s father.

On the other hand, the District Labour Officer of Nabarangpur, K Venugopal Rao assured that steps will be taken to rescue the labourers. “We are conducting an enquiry and will send a team to rescue the labourers,” Rao said.