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27 Dec 2016

7 trafficked bonded labourers of Duars rescued from Nepal

KalimNews, Siliguri, 26 December 2016: In a stray incident of trafficking for labour 7 persons have been rescued from Nepal. Of these 7, 3 are girls while 4 are boys. They include two minors -one boy and a girl. They belong to some tea gardens of Oodlabari area under Mal Police station of Jalpaiguri District in the western Duars, 48km from Siliguri.
As per the statements of victims, they were lured by an agent with the promise of giving job in a brick factory in Siliguri, however upon reaching Siliguri they were told that the factory is situated just outside Siliguri. Consecutively, the alleged trafficker brought them to Kakarvitta, Nepal border and were asked to board a bus again with the same promise. As such after travelling 7-8 hrs. they reached their destination at Gorana Bazar of Mahottari district under Janakpur Anchal in Nepal.
The victims were brought and asked to work in a brick factory in Gorana Bazar under Ramgopalpur police station for almost a month. They were paid at the rate of Rs.1.28 (NPR) per brick block. They were restricted of their movement and contact to their family members, as such they sought permission to leave the job and return home which was flatly denied by the alleged trafficker, who told that they had to continue working for atleast three months. Of the 7, two victims were school student and one of whom will be appearing in Madhyamik Pariksha 2017 and other one is studying in Class XII and wanted to return home for studies just completing one month. They also alleged that the girls were verbally abused by one of the supervisors. They were also threatened with dire consequences if they tried to inform anyone else. Meanwhile some victims somehow managed to sneak and contact their family members and explain their situation of captivity in the factory.
STEPS, an NGO based in Oodlabari was informed by the parents regarding the case and FIRs and missing diaries were lodged in Mal P.S. Through DCPO Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling , Mrinal Ghosh the information was transmitted to TINY HANDS INDIA (THIndia), an anti-human trafficking NGO based in Siliguri also having its sister organisation in Nepal.
THIndia approached Nepal police to trace out the location of the victims and raided nearby brick factories in Kakarbhitta, as the actual location could not be ascertained due to less information received from the victims, as they too were stranger to the place. At Kakarvitta Prahari Chauki the case was referred to Girija Khadka SI and on the next day the location was traced out and confirmed.
Eventually, a team of THIndia went to the brick factory with the support of police officials of Ramgopalpur. There they were told by the factory manager that they were brought to Nepal for job and not lured whereas the victims had a different story to tell.
It is said that the agent had taken Rs. 50,000(NPR) from the owner of the factory, due to which the factory manager was reluctant to let them go off.
With the help of the Nepal Police led by Bechan Yadav, SI they were rescued from the factory on the Christmas Day and brought to India today by THIndia and handed over to their parents after completion of all official procedures at 41 Btn. SSB camp in Panitanki.
The agent is absconding and the police is searching for him in this case registered under section 363/ 366A/378(4) IPC.

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