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‘Bonded laborers’ on Punjab farms: MHA clarifies in letter to state government, says no charges are brought | India News

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NEW DELHI: The Ministry of the Interior (MHA) has issued a clarification regarding its letter to the Punjab government regarding “bonded laborers” employed on state farms.
The statement said that a section of the media wrongly reported that the ministry in its letter made “serious allegations against farmers in the state.”
Calling such reports a “highly editorialized opinion,” the ministry called the letter “a routine communication on public order issues” and denied any motive behind it.
He described the letter as “a simple observation on a socio-economic problem arising from four sensitive border districts of Punjab over a period of two years, which has been brought to the attention of this Ministry by the CAPF in question.”
He also refuted suggestions made in some reports that MHA has “brought charges” against Punjab farmers and linked the matter to ongoing farmer upheavals.

The letter only says that “human trafficking unions” hire such workers and they are “exploited, poorly paid and subjected to inhumane treatment,” the MHA said. The statement also highlighted that these victims are lured with drugs to extract more work, which affects their physical and mental health.
The letter was also sent to the union’s labor secretary with a request to carry out an “awareness-raising exercise in all states, to verify the deception of vulnerable victims by unscrupulous elements,” the statement read.

Times of India

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