The district police and civil society organisations have made the kiln owners write off Rs42.7 million amount paid in advance to the labourers by the owners for bonded labour, disclosed the Sialkot district police officer.

DPO Nafees Gohar told the media that the total amounts had been given by the owners of the bricks kilns to their labourers in advanced forcing the poor labourers to do bonded labour at their brick kilns along with their families. During the last week, the police had launched a massive crackdown on brick kilns and had registered 386 cases against the owners and managers of different brick kilns located in Sialkot district’s all the four Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils here on the charges of taking forced and bonded labour from their labourers and their families including women and children, the DPO added.

Now, with the active motivation of Sialkot police and civil society, the owners have voluntarily written off their huge amounts. On the occasion, some male and female labourers told the newsmen that now they were feeling relaxed mentally and physically as the over burden of the huge advanced payments have been removed. They also thanked the police and civil society organisations (with their jubilant faces) for getting the labourers freed from their generation-to-generation bonded labour at the brick kilns.