CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Friday said that Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) letter to the Punjab government on the issue of human trafficking and bonded labour practices being followed in the border belt is a ridiculous assumption aimed purely at defaming state farmers.
Former MP Prem Singh Chandumajra said the MHA letter from the home ministry itself was self-contradictory. He said on the one hand the letter was claiming that 58 persons had been apprehended by the border security force (BSF) and that they seemed to be mentally challenged.
Simultaneously, it was being claimed that human trafficking syndicates were luring such persons to areas in Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Ferozepur and Abohar with the promise of good salaries but that they were exploited and forced to work as bonded labouers.
“Can both these things happen simultaneously?” he asked.
Chandumajra said such letters from the MHA would create an atmosphere of confrontation as there was not one FIR of any person being forced to work as a bonded labourer in any of the areas mentioned in the letter.
“In fact farmers of Punjab pay labourers in advance for their services and that is why lakhs of migrant workers come to Punjab every year for planting of the paddy crop,” he added.
The SAD leader also said that such a letter should be immediately withdrawn and the real reason why some mentally challenged people found their way to the border areas should be probed.