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|Case posted by||Dalit Dasta Virodhi Andolan|
|Type of atrocity||Begar or other forms of forced or bonded labour|
|Whether the case is being followed in the court or not?||No|
|Fact finding date||Not recorded|
|Case incident date||02-Oct-2015|
|Place||Village: Not recorded
District: AMRITSAR RURAL
|Police station||Not recorded|
(1) Bikar Singh S/o Balwinder Singh resident of village-Bandala,Tehsil and District-Amritsar has filed a Self-Declaration and has narrated the facts as under:-
(a) That he belongs to caste “Majhabi Sikh” which has been declared as a Scheduled Caste by the State Government of Punjab.
(b) That Bikar Singh and his family members and eleven other families whose names are mentioned in Annexure A were employed since four years by M/s. Deluxe Bricks Industry situated at Village-Akalgarh Tehsil and District-Amritsar,Punjab, whose present owner is Deepak Kumar.This firm is a bricks manufacturing factory.The workers were employed as brick moulders. He is in debt bondage and has made a request to liberate himself and his family members and co-workers from bonded debt.
(c) That Bikar Singh, his family members and co-workers were brought to the kiln by the owner Deepak Kumar himself.
(d) That the brick kiln owner advanced the bonded debt to the workers at the time of employment as mentioned in Annexure A.
(e) That the workers are expected mould bricks as mentioned in Annexure A in one day and made to work for up to 14 hours a day.
(f) That the brick kiln owner did not pay them their earned wages and only paid them Rs. 700 (Seven Hundred) or Rs. 1000(One Thousand) per week to each family and since then there has been no further payment of wages.
(g) That there is no facility of clean drinking water at the brick kiln. The workers were drinking the water of one hand pump but water of that hand pump is so contaminated that after drinking dirty water so many people have fallen ill.
(h) That the workers were made to work in subhuman conditions without toilets or sanitation facilities.
(i) That when the workers demanded their hard earned wages from the owner then he clearly refused to give them their wages even incurred the bonded debt against them.
(j) That the wages of the worker have been withheld by the brick kiln owner. Now, the brick kiln owner is refusing to pay the earned wages of the workers mentioned in Annexure A. The denial of wages has put the workers in a starving condition.
(k) That the household items of the workers as mentioned in Annexure A have been retained by the owner.
(l) That now the brick kiln owner is harassing the workers and has abused and threatened them by saying, if they do not pay his debt amount then he will not return their household items and will implicate them in some false and frivolous case.
(m)That the workers do not want to work at this kiln because the owner did not pay them their earned wages and he also did not returned their household items.
(n) That now the brick kiln owner is demanding the bonded debt from the workers as mentioned in Annexure A.
(o) Instead of the paying the workers their due wages as per the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, the brick kiln owner did not give them their full wages. The workers mentioned in Annexure A hardly manage to survive on the brick kiln. Finally they have left the brick kiln.
(2) That the facts narrated in Paragraph 2, it is clear that the brick kiln owner has extracted labour from the workers without payment of their wages. This amounts to “Begar” whichis a violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 23 of the Constitution of India as well as an offence defined under Section 2(g) of the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976. The employer has extracted labour from the workers in lieu of the debt advance paid to them. Thereafter the workers were forced to work for wages well below the minimum wages. Due to hunger, the workers had no other choice but to escape from the brick kiln. The workers continue to be in debt bondage in spite of having left the employment.