20 bonded kiln workers freed in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD, April 19: As many as 20 bonded labourers were recovered by a court bailiff from a brick kiln in Tarlai on Tuesday on the directives of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman.
Tanveer Bibi, a native of Gujranwala, moved the IHC for the recovery of her 20 relatives, including 10 children.
Tanveer Bibi made IGP Islamabad and SHO Koral police station respondents in the petition filed through her lawyer Mian Abdul Ghafoor.
She maintained that the brick kiln owner, Chaudhry Raheel, had detained 20 persons who were forced to work as bonded labourers.
“My relatives Mushtaq and Zohra signed an agreement with Chaudhry Raheel who owned two brick kilns near Tarlai area to prepare raw bricks against Rs500 for 1,000 bricks but the detained persons were never paid according to the agreement,” the petitioner said. When the workers demanded their promised wages, the brick kiln owner threatened them of dire consequences, she said.
Chaudhry Raheel restricted them only to the work area and were not move beyond certain limits, the petitioner said.
“The workers were kept in inhuman conditions and could go to their mud houses only to rest at night. The women had to work from dawn to dusk and at the same time look after their children.” Tanveer Bibi told Dawn.
In response to a question, she said the illiterate workers could do nothing else except make bricks and that also for meager wages.
They only agitated after they were not paid what they had been promised by the owner of the brick kiln, she added.