Sanghar: 58 bonded haris freed from landlord’s farm
SANGHAR: Police on Tuesday freed 58 haris from a farm of Ali Ghulam Marri in 5-Dim village. The freed haris included 24 children, 18 men and 16 women. Eight of the men were found in chains.
The Jhol police registered a case under section 11 of the Bonded Labour Act against Ali Ghulam Mari, a nephew of infamous Abdul Rehman Marri who is an accused in the Mannu Bheel case.
Rano Bheel had given application to Hyderabad RPO Fayaz Laghari and informed him about the bonded labourers.
A team of Jhol and Jam Nawaz police conducted the raid, leading to freedom for the 58 captives. Those freed included Ms Jeti, Bhago, Malik, Lachoo, Parbhu, Daya Ram and their family members. They told police that they had been working for 25 years at Ali Ghulam’s farm.
The landlord kept no record of their work and the money due to them. They were also deprived of basic needs, and that even treatment for minor diseases was not provided to them.
Jhol SHO Ahmed Bhatti told journalists that the freed labourers would be sent to a camp of ‘liberated’ peasants in Kotri. He claimed that raids were conducted to arrest Ali Ghulam Marri, but he escaped.
Bonded labour is rampant in parts of lower Sindh, particularly Sanghar, Mirpurkhas and Umerkot districts where landlords hire peasant families, mostly from scheduled caste communities. The landowners give them “loan on exorbitant interest rates” in the name of advance remuneration which peasants are never able to pay.