PEDDAPALLI: There have been multiple incidents of women labourers especially those from other states being subjected to sexual harassment in the brick kilns in Telangana. One more such incident of an Odisha woman (22) being gang raped by the owners of a brick kiln had come to light recently in Gourreddipeta in Peddapalli district recently. Unidentified individuals had written a letter to the Humans Rights Commission (HRC)informing about the rape and confinement of few labourers in the kiln.
As per reports the married woman was raped by five men on the 24th of January . According to the letter received by the authorities from HRC, five owners gang-raped a 22-year-old married woman from Odisha who was working in an LNC brick kiln in Gourreddipeta. The husband and wife were also assaulted by the owners. Fearing for their lives the hapless couple tried to escape to their hometown and went to the Ramagundam Railway Station.
The owners traced them, took them back to the brick kilns, and beat them severely. Another 14 workers from Odisha were also locked up, assaulted and threatened by the owners to prevent them from testifying against them. However, unidentified individuals wrote a letter to the Human Rights Commission. Responding to the HRC letter, Peddapalli RDO Shankar Kumar, SI Rajesh, Tahsildar Srinivas, Sakhi Center Administrator Swapna on Monday ordered an inquiry. They went to the brick kiln and spoke to the workers at the brick kilns. Ten workers and their children were sheltered at the centre, the Centre administrator Swapna said.
However, the victim and her husband were not seen at the brick kilns when authorities went to investigate. The officials are suspecting that the employers might have hidden them. Allegations are also coming in that the owners are not cooperating with the investigation. The RDO, said it would investigate the rape matter and detention of the labourers soon. However, many workers recall that in the past, a worker was killed in the same brick kiln and the matter was hidden by the employers without the knowledge of his fellow workers.
This is not the first time such incidents of rape of migrant labourers have occurred in the brick kilns of Telangana. Several such incidents of rape and molestation have occurred since 2014. However, many of such crimes go unreported as the owners prevent the poor migrant labourers from speaking about it. Moreover, even if they speak about it, they fear that they will be removed from work and will not get wages. They also find it difficult to go to the police and complain and neither can they handle the legal and other paperwork, as most of them are illiterate.