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Farm labourers in Punjab administered drugs to work longer: MHA in letter to state

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New Delhi, Apr 03: The Centre has asked the Punjab government to take action on the findings of a probe by the BSF that migrant bonded labourers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were being employed in the state's farms and administered drugs to extract work.

In the letter dated March 7 to the Chief Secretary of Punjab and the DGP, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that in 2019-20, the BSF apprehended 58 such labourers from the border districts of Punjab.

Farm labourers in Punjab administered drugs to work longer: MHA in letter to state

"During the course of questioning, it emerged that most of them were either mentally challenged or were in a feeble state of mind and have been working as bonded labourers with farmers in border villages of Punjab. The persons apprehended belong to poor family background and hail from remote areas of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh," the letter read.

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Further it also said that human trafficking syndicates hire such workers from their native places to work in Punjab on the promise of good salary. However after reaching Punjab, they are exploited, paid poorly and meted out inhuman treatment. To make them work for long hours, they are often given drugs, which adversely affect their physical and mental condition. The BSF has been handing over the rescued persons to the state police for necessary action, the letter also said.

Since it involves human trafficking, bonded labour and human rights, you are requested to look into the matter and take appropriate measures to address this serious problem, the letter from the MHA further read.

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