Thursday, August 28, 2003

Three Dalit minors rescued from rape, bondage

HYDERABAD: Three minor Dalit girls, all of them migrants from Orissa working in a brick kiln in Kowkoor in Alwal, were sexually assaulted by their employers over a period of one and a half years.

The accused -- kiln owners Mohammed Feroz Khan, 30, and Mohammed Ayub Khan, 25, and contractor Sanju Sagaria -- were arrested on Wednesday. Alwal police registered a case under Sections 376 (rape) of the CrPC and the SC, ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act against Feroz and Ayub. They, along with the contractor, also face another case of engaging bonded labour.

The girls were part of a group of 50 labourers from Bolangir district who migrated here in search of work. Sagaria contracted them for the Khans' brick unit, police said. They were paid a pittance.

After repeated sexual assaults, one of the girls became pregnant. She fled the kiln and went back to Bolangir and informed an NGO, Friends Association for Rural Reconstruction (FARR). Bijoy Kumar Gupta of FARR came to Hyderabad in search of the other labourers and found them at Kowkoor village in Rangareddy district. He informed Action Aid, another NGO, which tipped off the Cyberabad police commissioner M Mahendar Reddy.

Source: The Times of India, August 28, 2003

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