NHRC acts on IRAC’sdemand of full rehabilitation of katkari tribal families

On 26th August 2021, the Indigenous Rights Advocacy Centre (IRAC) demanded proper and full rehabilitation of 18 Katkari tribal families in Bhiwandi under the Thane district of Maharashtra. 

The 18 Katkari tribal families consisting of 43 members have been trapped into bonded labour in a Brick Kiln factory. The labourers were being exploited and assaulted by the brick kiln owners and subjected to inhuman treatment including public flogging, starvation, and enslavement for years at PilanjeBudrukChinchpadavillage in Bhiwandi under the Thane district of Maharashtra. 

IRAC’s complaint was placed before the Commission on 15 September 2021 and the NHRC, while taking cognizance of the seriousness of the complaint, has directed the District Magistrate of Thane, Maharashtra to conduct spot enquiry immediately or to depute an officer subordinate to him for an immediate on the spot enquiry for identification of the bonded labourers. In case of any bonded labourers, the District Magistrate is directed to take further action in accordance with the provisions of law. 

The commission has demanded enquiry related to the operating license of the Brick Kiln factory owners, implementation of the SC/ST Act provisions, details of the labourers, the amount of wage, adherence to minimum wages act and raised many other relevant questions related to the matter. 

The commission has directed the officers to strictly adhere to the provisions of the Act and various orders of the Supreme Court and promptly reply to each of the queries raised by NHRC. In absence of action or delay by the officers, commission will take serious actions. 

The NHRC directed the authorities to submit an Action Taken Report (ATR) within four weeks.

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