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Friday, December 20, 2013

Palm Chopping Savage Crime, Says NHRC

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought a detailed report from the State Government on the chopping off of palms of two migrant labourers by middlemen in Kalahandi district on the night of December 15.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought a detailed report from the State Government on the chopping off of palms of two migrant labourers by middlemen in Kalahandi district on the night of December 15.

The commission has asked the Chief Secretary and the DGP to submit a report on the steps taken to identify and arrest the culprits along with medical attention provided to the victims, by January 2. It has also sought information on the compensation as well as the steps to be taken for rehabilitation of the victims.

The commission, while taking note of the incident, has termed it as most brutal and savage crime and said the authorities should spare no effort to bring the culprits to book.

The victims are among the most vulnerable sections of the society and will need immediate and continuing support from the Government, it noted.  The Government has been directed to inform the whereabouts and current status of the companions of the two victims, who had allegedly fled from the clutches of labour contractor, which led to the attack on the duo.  The commission also wanted to know if the contractor, who was taking the workers from the State, had the required licences and permissions under the Inter-State Migrant Workmen Act.

Meanwhile, the failure of the Government in rehabilitating migrant labourers, who were rescued from different States, has drawn attention of the NHRC.

NHRC Joint Commissioner A K Parashar has taken note of the matter raised by Aide et Action, South Asia, and treated it as a complaint. Aide et Action regional head, migration, Umi Daniel, submitted that as many as 494 migrant bonded labourers had been rescued from the clutches of employers outside the State at different times, but are yet to be provided with rehabilitation assistance under the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976. As per the Act, bonded labourers are entitled to Government assistance of `20,000 for rehabilitation. According to the complaint, as many as 196 migrant bonded labourers from Balangir district were not paid rehabilitation assistance followed by 184 from Bargarh, 102 from Nuapada and 12 from Sambalpur districts.

Around 1,139 labourers had been rescued from different States.

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