7 agents booked for labour trafficking

Bhubaneswar: Five of the seven persons involved in illegal trafficking of labourers through Nuapada district on Thursday and Friday have past records of similar crime. Police on Saturday said they have continued manhunt after the labour department lodged a complaint on Friday.

The seven persons booked for trafficking are Bali Rana, Dinesh Sahu, Budhankar Sahu, Nilakantha Chandrakar, Kruparam Chandrakar, Mukesh Chandrakar and Tolly Sahu. Except Dinesh and Tolly, the rest five were earlier arrested for their alleged involvement in trafficking of workers in October 2012, Khariar Road police station IIC J K Patnaik said. Trial is on in the case and the accused are out on bail, he said.

All the seven agents are natives of Nuapada district while the workers trafficked were from Bargarh and Nuapada districts of Odisha and neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

Police have registered a case under Section 374 (unlawful compulsory labour) and Section 367 (kidnapping or abducting in order to subject person to grievous hurt, slavery, etc) and Section 34 of the IPC.

The labour department, meanwhile, has found that all the 619 workers had reached their native places. After 333 of the group were trapped for a second time by labour agents, there was apprehension about whereabouts of others.

“It was found that the 333, who were re-captured were those who stayed at Khariar Road till late on Thursday for verification. Others had left for their native places by then,” said district labour officer Niranjan Kumura.

He said the government has kept a strict vigil on the transit points as the agents may try to re-send the workers as they have already received part payment for sending them to Uttar Pradesh.

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