Six young women working in a garment factory in Udumalpet in Tirupur district were allegedly beaten up as they tried to escape from a factory-run hostel. People living in the area, beat up the guard and warden who were assaulting the women and rescued them.
The women had been brought from Odisha to work in Victus Dyeing Company by an agent called Aditya, who also hails from Odisha.
In a video shot by the media, one of the women can be seen speaking to the police. She informed the police that they had been beaten up by the warden, three other women and the security guard. “We did not like the work that we were doing in the factory so we wanted to go back to Odisha and they did not let us go back. We tried to walk out of the hostel from the main entrance on Thursday when they started beating us,” she said.
The girls were mainly doing tailoring and dyeing work in the factory and wanted to go back to Odisha.
Image: The marks on the hands of one of the girl
The police however have a different version. Speaking to The News Minute, Saravanan, inspector of Madathakulam police station said, “All the girls are above the age of 18 and they wanted to work in some other company in Tirupur. When they asked the warden, she told them, she can send them only if their parents came. After which, the girls tried to escape from the hostel.”
When asked if any complaint had been filed against the factory, he said, “When we spoke to the girls, they did not tell us that they were beaten up by the warden. They wanted to run away from the hostel to join another company. They did not face any problems inside the factory. The Child Welfare Committee and the Child Helpline inspected the factory. There are about 300 people working in the factory and have filed a report to the collector saying there are no issues in the factory,” he said.
The girls were rescued by the villagers and taken to a hospital. From there they were sent to a destitute home in Tirupur. However, the inspector said that their parents have come down from Odisha and they have taken the girls with them to join them another company.
Panneerselvam, a CPI(M) taluk secretary, said that they had informed the police about the incident and also petitioned to the police station to take action against the factory. “In many of the factories in Tirupur, children are kept as bonded labourers and made to work for long hours. Police should take strict action against it and investigate the case properly,” he said.