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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

City doc booked for keeping minor as bonded labourer

Navrajdeep Singh, Hindustan Times  Patiala, February 12, 2014
First Published: 23:38 IST(12/2/2014) | Last Updated: 10:27 IST(13/2/2014)

A renowned city doctor has been allegedly booked for keeping a 14-year-old minor child as bonded labourer at his residence.


The police have registered a case against Dr Gurmeet Singh, who owns a clinic on the Bhupindera road under Section 16 of the bonded labour system abolition act.

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The police have yet to arrest the accused doctor. The accused reportedly purchased the child identified as Lakhi Ram, a resident of Udalpuri district in Assam for Rs. 33,000 on November 5 last year. The police also seized the receipt pertaining to the sale of the child from doctor's residence.

The police have also registered a case against Jatin Nandi and arrested him. He is a resident of Khasi hills in Meghalaya, from whom the doctor purchased the child.

The matter came to light after the child somehow managed to flee from doctor's residence and took away some utensils and electronic juicer.

The police launched a manhunt for the child after the accused doctor registered a complaint against child under Section 381 (theft) of the IPC Act on February 9.

In the meantime, the police recovered the child from the Patiala railway station on February 10.

Investigation officer Balbir Singh said the child was presented before the court of juvenile magistrate and in his statement the child alleged that a person named Jatin brought him from his home place on the pretext of providing work and then sold him to the doctor for doing domestic work.

"Accused Jatin confined him in a room for 10 days and didn't allow him to come out before handing him over to the doctor. The child used to do domestic work at his residence and at the clinic but the doctor didn't pay him a single penny since November 5.

The child accused the doctor of physical torture. He alleged that the doctor threatened him not to go out without his permission. "Even proper food was not given to the child", Balbir Singh said.

The police said the child worked not only at his residence but at his clinic also, which is situated adjacent to his house.

"The child had left doctor's residence with some utensils and electronic juicer with the purpose to get some money after selling it so that he could manage to visit his parents. The child was later recovered from the local railway station", he said.
Repeated attempts to contact doctor Gurmeet Singh remined futile.

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