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Women working as bonded labour rescued from Pathankot, FIR lodged against captor

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Date : 24/08/2018

A woman from West Bengal, who was being held as a bonded labour, was rescued from Pathankot on Thursday (23rd August, 2018), after one of her acquaintance reached out to National Campaign Committee for Eradication of Bonded Labour (NCCEBL) for assistance.

The acquaintance made a distress phone call to social activist and NCCEBL Convenor Nirmal Gorana for rescue and rehabilitation of the woman forcibly held in Janial village of Pathankot district.

Nirmal Gorana along with a Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) lawyer, Lal Jhanda Punjab Bhatta Mazdoor Union’s Shiv Kumar, DSP (rural) Davender Singh, and SHO of NJ Singh police station Pritam Lal conducted a raid at the shop to rescue her.

On Friday (24th August) , a FIR was registered against Rakesh under sections 365, 366, 368, 376, 417, 506, 120B of the Indian Penal Code along with sections 16 and 20 of the Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act, 1976. The survivor has recorded her in the presence of the magistrate.

In her complaint to police, the survivor recounted that in 2017 a woman from Pathankot approached her on the pretext of a high-paying employment and was brought to Janial village in Punjab.

On her arrival at Janial village, she was immediately assigned a ‘momo’ kiosk and was forcibly made to work at shop, she said, while adding that her turmoil escalated, when she was made to forcibly marry the accused — Rakesh. He is the brother of the woman, who had illegally transported the woman to the village.

She also said that the accused created a vicious environment in the house and allegedly raped her on multiple occasions. When she used to ask for money, she was beaten up by the accused. The survivor also claimed that due to repeated domestic violence she had a miscarriage.

Demands made by the rescue team:

Nirmal Gorana and his team have also demanded the District Magistrate or Deputy Commissioner of Police to issue a release certificate and provide repatriation under police protection.

The NCCEBL and HRLN team have also asked the the authorities to issue interim relief amount of Rs 20, 000 for the survivor.

Click here to read the news story in Hindi.

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