16 hostage labourers freed after the intervention of the Chief Minister from Andhra Pradesh

Ranchi: Sixteen labourers of Jharkhand (Chaibasa) who were held hostage in Ice Island of Andhra Pradesh have been freed after the intervention from Chief Minister Hemant Soren. All the rescued labourers are being brought back to Jharkhand by train.

According to the information, they were taken hostage on the pretext of work in Ice Island of Andhra Pradesh. Gaurishankar Yadav, a social worker from Andhra Pradesh, got the first information about the workers being taken hostage. He shared the information with the State Migrant Control Room under the Labour Department, Jharkhand.

On the instructions of the Chief Minister, the Migrant Control Room came into action and took up the matter with the highest authorities at the Andhra Pradesh government. A joint team of Andhra Pradesh Police and the Labour Department raided the place and rescued hostage workers.

The contractor had taken them to Andhra Pradesh on the pretext of getting good work and wages, whereas violating all the norms these labourers were forced to work for 22 hrs a day A contractor named Ramesh had taken the labourers to Andhra Pradesh. Upon reaching there, all the labourers were moved to different locations, then finally they were indulged in fish farming on the island. In Ice Island, workers were made to work for 22-22 hours. According to the information received from the labourers, they were made to work even at night. When they refused to go to work, the owner used to abuse and beat them. Workers said that even clean drinking water was not available for them. Everyone was forced to live in a hellish situation. Also, the food available to them was scarce.

After a while, workers informed the contractor about their plight and expressed their desire to go back home. On this, the owner abused all the labourers and took them hostage and stop paying their wages. Food was given only once a day.

On the initiative of the State Migrant Control Room, a total sum of Rs 48,000 has been paid to the labourers against their wage for 15 days. All the labourers have boarded a train from Vijayawada station for Jharkhand on the morning of 2 December. They expressed their gratitude to the Chief Minister, Hemant Soren and the state government through a video message.

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