NHRC notice to Samba, Reasi DMs on bonded labourers

Their woes have not ended.
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to authorities in Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh in connection with relief, release certificates and rehabilitation of 98 bonded labourers rescued from Samba and Reasi districts of Jammu and Kashmir.
NHRC also asked its Director General (Investigation) for an inquiry into the matter and submit a report, within two weeks. The Rights Panel has taken cognizance of a complaint that 98 bonded labourers, rescued from two brick kiln sites in Samba and Reasi districts of Jammu and Kashmir on 28th and 29th of the last month, have neither been given any immediate interim relief nor release certificates as per law and left to fend for themselves. They belong to Bilaspur, Janjgir, Champa, Jaijaipur, Raigarh, Chhattisgarh and include 20 women and 41 children.
Allegedly, the victims were subjected to lathi charge by Delhi Police and some of the victims including pregnant women have sustained injuries, the Rights Panel said in a statement on Monday. The Commission has asked its Director General (Investigation) to inquire into the matter and submit a report, within two weeks.
The Investigation Division will also immediately contact the office of the Chief Secretary, Delhi Government, Resident Commissioners of Chhattisgarh and J&K in order to see the welfare and wellbeing of the victims till they reach their native places in Chhattisgarh. A report will be also obtained from Commissioner of Police, Delhi on use of force by police on the victims.
NHRC also issued a notice to the District Magistrates of Samba and Reasi, J&K, calling upon them to submit the report in accordance with the provisions of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976 together with copies of the release certificates and explanations on the allegations made in the complaint within a period of three days of receipt of the notice.
The District Magistrates of Bilaspur, Janjgir, Champa, Jaijaipur, Raigarh and Chhattisgarh will also coordinate with the District Magistrates of Samba and Reasi, J&K in order to ensure expeditious rehabilitation of the released bonded labourers. They are expected to submit their report to the Commission within four weeks.
The victims travelled from Jammu to Delhi in pitiable condition, without food and shelter, and approached the Commission with the help of some social activists on 4th January. (UNI)


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