Odisha: Contractor 'chops off' workers' hands, manhunt on

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Bhubaneshwar, Dec 17: In an awful incident, a middleman (labour contractor) chopped off hands of two migrant labourers on Monday when they reportedly refused to go outside for work in brick kilns.

According to a report, both labourers named- Nilambar Dhangada Majhi, 35 and Bialu Nial, 30, have been admitted to the Bhawanipatna district headquarters hospital and said to be in a critical condition.

The shocking incident took place at the Belpada jungle of Sindhekella area of Bolangir district, about 420 km from Bhubaneswar. Both victims hail from Kalahandi district of Odisha.

The report further said that "12 labourers including five women belonging to different villages under Utchla gram panchayat of Jaipatna block were paid advance by two agents- Bimal Rout and Parshu Nayak, with a condition that they would have to go to Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh, to work there for repayment.

"If you are not going to work for us, you will not be able to work for anybody".

The agents, Rout and Nyak, then handed over the labourers to the accomplices of another agent, Parme Rout.

One of the labourers, who managed to flee, said, "After reaching Raipur, we were asked to go to Hyderabad. We did not agree and escaped the agents' clutches. While 10 of us managed to flee and return to our village, Majhi and Nial got caught."

The agents and their accomplices reportedly took both victims to Nuapada district and tortured them in a confinement. They later took them to Belpada jungle where their palms were brutally chopped off, leaving them physically disabled for the rest of their lives.

"If you are not going to work for us, you will not be able to work for anybody," middleman and his henchmen reportedly told them, after consuming liquor, before chopping off their palms.

Manhunt on

Meanwhile, Bhawanipatna police has registered a case in connection with the matter and have launched a manhunt to nab the accused labour contractor and his four henchmen who allegedly chopped off the hands of two migrant workers, a police official said.

Police said a local labour contractor paid about Rs.14,000 in advance each to 12 workers from Jaipatna area of Kalahandi district about a fortnight ago for some labour work in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

But instead of taking them to the promised destination, the workers were being taken to Raipur to work at a brick kiln. The workers refused to work in Raipur and ten of the 12 workers fled, according to police.

District Superintendent of Police Sarthak Sarangi told a news agency, "We have formed two teams and raided the houses of the suspects. Many of the workers have also not yet returned to their homes. Search is on to locate them."

Odisha's western districts of Kalahandi, Koraput and Bolangir are considered to be some of the economically most backward areas in the country. Every year, thousands of residents migrate in search of jobs.

OneIndia News

(With IANS inputs)

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