ISLAMABAD: The police helped free 15 of a family who were being held as bonded labourers by a brick kiln owner.
The police produced the family in the Islamabad High Court which set them free.
Talking to Dawn, Noon police Station House Officer (SHO) Inspector Abid Ikram said the owner of the brick kiln was arrested and he was charged with PPC’s section 344 for wrongful confinement for 10 or more days, section 374 for unlawful compulsory labour and 506 for criminal intimidation.
The IHC had ordered the police a few days ago to help free the family from confinement after a man named Shoni approached the court for help.
The SHO said the brick kiln where the family was held was located in the village of Noon where the police conducted a raid. He said the family comes from Mandi Bahauddin.
According to the SHO, Shoni had said he had come to the brick kiln with his family three years ago.
The family had a peaceful first year working at the kiln and that they were given proper meals and wages and were allowed to roam around freely after working hours.
A year later, Shoni told the police, working conditions got bad, the family was not paid their wages and were not given meals.
The owner of the kiln also put restrictions on their movement and deployed a man to keep an eye on them and detain them within the premises of the kiln.
Shoni said he managed to escape a few days before he approached the IHC and that he sought help from the court in helping the other 15 members of his family free.
The court then issued directives to the police to free the family from confinement.
“They were produced in court which set them free,” the SHO said, adding that the owner of the brick kiln was in police custody and that legal action will be taken against him.
Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2017