Home > News > In unusual move, MHA flags Punjab on ‘bonded labourers’ | India News

In unusual move, MHA flags Punjab on ‘bonded labourers’ | India News


NEW DELHI/ AMRITSAR: The home ministry has, based on inputs from BSF about the plight of “bonded labourers” from UP and Bihar working in fields of border villages in Punjab, has asked the state government to look into the matter and take appropriate measures to address the problem.
The unusual letter sent to the Punjab chief secretary and DGP on March 17, said it had been informed by BSF that most of the 58 Indian nationals it had apprehended from the border areas of Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Ferozepur and Abohar in 2019-2020, were found to be either mentally challenged or in a feeble state of mind. It turned out they had been working as bonded labourers on the employ of farmers in border villages of Punjab. These people came from economically weak background and hailed from remote areas of UP and Bihar.
A BSF official told TOI that the labourers were apprehended as they were possibly loitering in the border and could not come up with a plausible explanation for their presence there.
The Punjab government and farm unions leading the protest against the Centre’s agri-laws rejected the allegations, terming the MHA letter a “tactic” by the BJP-led Centre to defame Punjab.
“It has been informed that human trafficking syndicates hire such labourers from their native place to work in Punjab on the promise of good salary, but they are exploited, paid poorly and meted out inhuman treatment. For making them work for long hours in fields, these labourers are often given drugs, which adversely affect their physical and mental condition,” the MHA said, adding that BSF had been handing the persons to state police for necessary action.
Punjab labour minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said, “These activities are being done by the Centre just to torpedo farmers’ agitation. They want to spoil Punjab’s relations with Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.”
Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, cooperative and jails minister, said the Centre’s allegations were an insult to the border farmers who had bravely fought against Pakistan. The Centre should immediately revoke its letter and tender an unconditional apology, he said. Even Sanyukt Kisan Morcha, spearheading the farmers’ stir, claimed it was an attempt by the Centre to weaken their protest and drive a wedge between farmers and labourers.
The MHA requested the Punjab chief secretary and DGP to take measures to address the “serious” issue, citing the multi-dimensional problem which involves human trafficking, bonded labour and human rights violations. A copy of the letter was also forwarded to the Union labour secretary Apurva Chandra.

Source link

TAGS , , , , , , , , , ,
Hi guys, this is Kimmy, I started LicensetoBlog to help you with the latest updated news about the world with daily updates from all leading news sources. Beside, I love to write about several niches like health, business, finance, travel, automation, parenting and about other useful topics to keep you find the the original information on any particular topic. Hope you will find LicensetoBlog helpful in various ways. Keep blogging and help us grow as a community for internet lovers.