58 mentally ill people from Bihar, UP found working as bonded labour in Punjab: MHA

New Delhi

The Centre has informed the Punjab government 58 mentally challenged people from Bihar and UP were found working as bonded labourers in the border districts of the state and asked it to take appropriate action to deal with the "serious" problem.

In a communication to the chief secretary of Punjab, the Union Home Ministry said the BSF has found the 58 people were brought to Punjab with the promise of good salary but exploited, given drugs and forced to work in inhuman conditions. The ministry said the BSF has informed it the labourers were rescued from the border areas of Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Ferozepur and Abohar in Punjab in 2019 and 2020.

“During the questioning, it emerged 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,” it said.

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