91 child labourers rescued in Ganjam

Berhampur,July 13: At least 91 child labourers including hazardous cashew processing units, rescued from different places of Ganjam in Odisha, police said today.

"Police have conducted a raids on hotels, garages, shops and cashew processing units in the district under Operation Muskan, 80 boys and 11 girls have been rescued. Four of them are from Bihar," DSP Subash Acharya said.

The children, rescued since Saturday, are in the age group of 12 to 17 years, he said.

He said 13 children were found working in cashew processing units at Sorada (7) and at Khallikote (6). Eleven of them were girls. Cashew processing unit is categorised as hazardous under Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986.

"Two separate cases have been registered against owners of these units. We are investigating the circumstances under which these children were employed in these units and whether they were kept as bonded labourers," the DSP said.

The rescued children are in the custody of an NGO 'Childline'. They would be produced before the district child welfare committee (CWC) soon and later handed over to their parents, Acharya said.

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