‘Bonded labourers’ on Punjab farms: MHA clarifies on letter to state govt, says no charges framed | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has come out with a clarification vis-a-vis its letter to the Punjab government over ‘bonded labourers’ being employed on farms in the state.
The release said that a section of the media erroneously reported that the ministry in its letter levelled ‘grave charges against the farmers of the state.’
Terming such reports ‘highly editorialized opinion,’ the ministry called the letter ‘a routine communication over law and order issues,’ and denied any motive behind the same.
It described the letter as “a simple observation about a socioeconomic problem emerging 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 concerned CAPF.”
It also refuted suggestions made in some reports that MHA has ‘framed charges’ against farmers of Punjab, and connecting the matter to the ongoing farmers’ agitations.

The letter only states that “human trafficking syndicates” hire such labourers and they are “exploited, paid poorly and meted out inhuman treatment,” the MHA said. The release also highlighted that such victims are lured with drugs to extract more labour, affecting their physical and mental health.
The letter was also forwarded to the Union labour secretary with a request to carry out a “sensitization exercise in all states, to check the duping of vulnerable victims at the hands of unscrupulous elements,” the release read.

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