60-year-old Man Asks for His Work Payment, Labour Agents Chop off His Fingers, Toes as Punishment
The middle-men not only refused to pay Chamru Paharia his wages, they also thrashed him and chopped off three fingers from his right hand and all five toes from his right leg with a sharp weapon.
Chamru Paharia worked at a construction site in Nagpur as a bonded labourer.
In a shocking case of brutality, two middle-men cut the toes and fingers of a 60-year-old man, who had been working at a construction site in Nagpur as a bonded labourer since July this year. The crime was perpetrated when the man, identified as Chamru Paharia, asked for his wages.
The middle-men, Dolal Satnami and Bidesi Sunami, not only refused to pay him wages, but also thrashed Chamru, and chopped off three fingers from his right hand and all five toes from his right leg with a sharp weapon.
A resident of Nuapada district in Odisha, Paharia was brought to Nagpur with the promise of a job and money. After the attack, the accused left him at the Nagpur Railway station where Railway Protection Force found him and admitted him to a local hospital. He underwent treatment for three months.
Paharia's relatives brought him back to his village in September. However, he was too scared to speak against the perpetrators since they belong to the same village.
“They have left him disabled for his entire life. He is not able to walk, cannot hold anything. They ruined my family’s life,” said Tularam, Paharia’s son.
Meanwhile, the middle-men have been absconding.
Activist Dilip Kumar Das filed a petition with the National Human Rights Commission on Sunday, seeking justice for the 60-year-old man. “Chamru accused the duo of duping him. In a heated argument, the duo chopped his right fingers and toes and dumped an unconscious Chamru near the Nagpur Railway Station,” said the activist.
Dilip Das has sought a directive from the authorities for ensuring rehabilitation for the daily-wage labourer as per the Bonded Labour Rehabilitation Act.
He also urged the commission to direct the authorities to pay the initial monetary compensations to the victim as prescribed in the Act.
Last year, the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 was passed by the Lok Sabha after the Union Cabinet approved the bill on February 28, 2018. According to the Press Information Bureau, the bill addresses the issue of trafficking from the point of view of prevention, rescue and rehabilitation.
Despite the Bonded Labour Abolition Act, 1976, there are about 18.3 million people in modern slavery in India, according to the 2016 Global Slavery Index.
For the rehabilitation of bonded labourers, a centrally-sponsored scheme has been in operation since May 1978. This scheme allows each adult rescued bonded labourer financial assistance between Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh, depending on their case.
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