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PostSubject: Slave labour in Brick kilns   Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:39 pm

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19 families hostage in brick kilns for 7 months


Rajouri, Apr 22: At least 19 labourer families from Uttar Pradesh and Chattisgarh have been held hostage allegedly by brick kiln owners in Sunder Bani area of Rajouri district for the past seven months. The families are being subjected to forced labour.
The matter came to light Wednesday when one of the families escaped and narrated their story to the district magistrate. The family said that they came out from the brick kiln premises after seven months and 18 more families are still in captivity. The district magistrate has written to police for immediate action. “I have also constituted a team of officials at my own level to get the hostages released immediately,” the district magistrate, J P Singh, told Greater Kashmir.
Nissar Ahmed Ansari of Lakhimpur Uttar Pradesh told Greater Kashmir that he along with his family managed to escape from the captivity of brick kiln management in the wee hours of Wednesday.
He said in the month of June 2008 at least 16 families of Lakhimpur district arrived here. “We reached a brick kiln no. 511 owned by one Muzzafer Kassai and Khurshid Ahmed in Bhawnigam Qazigund area. Here we worked up to October 2008. In October, when we demanded wages, Muzzafer Kassai contacted one Shamsher Singh of Sunderbani in Rajouri and sold all the labourers at the cost of Rs 1.50 lakh to him. We were forcibly loaded in a bus and dropped in a brick kiln in Sunderbani. Since then all the families are hostage of Shamsher Singh,” said Ansari.
He said during these seven months of captivity they were given a little quantity of ration so that they can remain alive.
Three more families of Raigarh district in Chattisgarh are also in the captivity of another brick kiln management namely M/S Suraj Brick Kiln in Sunderbani area for the past one year.
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