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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Odisha police arrest 50 middlemen involved in trafficking labourers

Director General of Police BK Sharma said while 20 people were arrested in Nabarangpur, 15 people each were arrested in Rayagada and Kalahandi. The police have lodged 17 FIRs in this connection.

india Updated: Oct 19, 2019 05:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
The arrests came within two days of similar arrest of 40 more agents and middlemen from Bolangir and Nuapada districts in Odisha.
The arrests came within two days of similar arrest of 40 more agents and middlemen from Bolangir and Nuapada districts in Odisha.(HT FILE PHOTO.)
         

The Odisha police on Friday arrested 50 middlemen and agents from Nabarangpur, Rayagada and Kalahandi districts on charges of being involved in trafficking of labourers.

Director General of Police BK Sharma said while 20 people were arrested in Nabarangpur, 15 people each were arrested in Rayagada and Kalahandi. The police have lodged 17 FIRs in this connection.

The arrests came within two days of similar arrest of 40 more agents and middlemen from Bolangir and Nuapada districts.

The DGP said all the accused will be presented before the court and some of them will be taken into remand for further interrogation. The drive against middlemen involved in trafficking labourers would continue, he said.

Officials of the labour department said every year more than a lakh people from the state migrate out of Odisha to work in neighbouring states like Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh after registering themselves under the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 1979. However, thousands of others migrate out on the false promise of better wages outside and many of them end up getting exploited by middlemen. Aide et Action, an NGO working in the labour migration sector estimates that more than 2.5 lakh people from western and southern Odisha districts migrate with families to work in the brick kiln sites.

Officials said many of the villagers from the backward southern and western parts of the state are paid an advance amount to meet their critical emergencies following which they are enlisted to work either in brick kilns and construction sites till their debts are cleared. In several cases they lose their limbs.

Last month, Labour and Employees’ State Insurance Minister Sushant Singh had said that the Labour department had rescued 1,387 migrant labourers from Odisha working in different states.