Traf­fick­ers get life term in In­dia for chop­ping off labour­ers’ hands

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Eight hu­man traf­fick­ers found guilty of tor­tur­ing and chop­ping off the hands of two labour­ers have re­ceived life prison sen­tences and hefty fines, a pros­e­cu­tor said on Sun­day, hop­ing the sever­ity of the pun­ish­ment would de­ter others.

Pros­e­cu­tor Dhiren­dra Nath Pa­tra said the court in Bhubaneswar heard how the traf­fick­ers chopped off the hands of Nil­am­bar Dhang­dama­jhi and Day­alu Nial in Odisha state on Dec. 15, 2013.

The two men were among of a group of 12 labour­ers who had taken money from labour agent Parvesh Duni in ex­change for work­ing for him but quickly re­alised he had trapped them. When the men found out they were be­ing taken to Andhra Pradesh in south­east­ern In­dia in­stead of Ch­hat­tis­garh state in cen­tral In­dia as ex­pected they tried to es­cape but were caught and locked up for hours be­fore their hands were chopped off. News of the tor­ture and con­fine­ment trig­gered widespread out­rage and made na­tional head­lines in In­dia which is es­ti­mated to have the high­est num­ber of modern day slaves of any coun­try.

Dhang­dama­jhi died on Sept. 21 this year af­ter years of ill­ness. “Un­der the sen­tence Parvesh Duni and other traf­fick­ers will serve a life term in prison. They will also have to pay fines,” the pros­e­cu­tor told the Thom­son Reuters Foun­da­tion. “This is a les­son for all.”

Amidst the pub­lic­ity, in 2014 the Supreme Court in­ter­vened and asked the Odisha gov­ern­ment to fast track charges against the traf­fick­ers and pro­vide re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion for the two men whose sto­ries are typ­i­cal of many trapped in debt bondage in In­dia. Modern slav­ery has be­come a catch-all term to de­scribe hu­man traf­fick­ing, debt bondage, forced mar­riage and other slave-like ex­ploita­tion with an es­ti­mated 46 mil­lion peo­ple in slav­ery around the world. — Reuters

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