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Police, NGO rescue 61 bonded labourers, including minors
The Chennai police, along with NGOs, rescued 61 bonded labourers, most of them minors, from five jewellery making units in the North Chennai on Friday.
The rescue was effected based on a tip-off from an NGO that works among bonded labourers and their rehabilitation. “The police formed five special teams and conducted surprise searches at five jewellery making units functioning on Walltax Road simultaneously,” a source said.
All the rescued boys, of whom 17 are between the age of 10 and 14, are from West Bengal. They were reportedly brought to the city from their native by paying advance money to their parents. The units are owned by five different persons.
S Megalina, Additional Deputy Commissioner, crime against women and children unit, who led the rescue, said that all the boys have Aadhaar cards in hand and the police are verifying their identity and exact age. All the boys are lodged at a government home in Royapuram.
“As children are involved, we have informed child welfare committee (CWC), Labour department and Revenue officials. The officials are conducting enquiry among the victims and based on their report, we will take action,” Megalina added.
When asked, a Revenue department official said that they are investigating the owners of jewellery making units. “However, next course action will be decided based on higher officials’ decisions,” he added.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Revenue department officials rescued four boys from a pani poori making unit on Mettu Theru in Ayanavaram. “The boys rescued from the unit were from Bihar, who were brought to the city by paying advance money to their families. The rescued boys will be given release certificates,” an official said.