Chandauli (Uttar Pradesh): As many as 70 bonded labourers, including 12 children and 20 women, were freed from a brick kiln in Uttar Pradesh, police said Friday.
The bonded labourers were rescued Thursday from the brick kiln in Sakaldiha town following a joint operation by the district authorities, labour department and police.
"Acting on a tip-off by an NGO, police and other officials raided the brick kiln and freed 70 bonded labourers, who were from 20 different families," Police Inspector H.H. Singh told reporters Friday in Chandauli, some 250 km from Lucknow.
According to police, the labourers were held hostage at the kiln for nearly seven months. The kiln owner is absconding.
"Preliminary investigations reveal that after giving some advance money, the kiln owners managed to bring 70 people at the site around seven months ago. Thereafter, they were forced to work without any labour charges," said Singh.
Police said most of the bonded labourers are natives of Mirzapur district.