For parents’ debt of Rs 30,000, minor AP boy forced into bonded labour

The boy's employer allegedly burnt his tongue with an iron rod and injured his private parts.
For parents’ debt of Rs 30,000, minor AP boy forced into bonded labour
For parents’ debt of Rs 30,000, minor AP boy forced into bonded labour
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An incident of torture has come to light in Anantapur district’s Dharmavaram area, where a boy was allegedly brutally assaulted by a man who had held him in bondage.

On Sunday, the parents of a 16-year-old boy, Vivek*, rushed him to the Dharmavaram Government Hospital with severe assault injuries.

The boy’s critical condition prompted the doctors to inform the police about the brutality.

According to the Dharmavaram police, the boy’s parents, Muthyalappa and Nagamma, who work as daily wage labourers, had taken a loan of Rs 30,000 from a local agriculturalist and sheep trader named Mallikarjun.

Muthyalappa and Nagamma were given a month’s time to repay the loan. “As they were unable to repay the debt, the boy’s parents entered into an agreement with Mallikarjun. They agreed to hand over their son to Mallikarjun, who would employ him as a shepherd until the debt was realized,” the police added.

This resulted in the discontinuation of Vivek’s studies as he stopped going to school.

On Saturday, Vivek’s parents approached Mallikarjun with a sum of Rs 15, 000 and asked him to relieve their son from the bondage.

“Mallikarjun disagreed and said that his debt was not entirely paid off as Vivek had lost some of his sheep, and forced the boy to stay back and work until the debt was paid off,” the police said.

Muthyalappa and Nagamma, who were helpless, returned home. On Sunday morning, they decided to visit their son once more to ensure that he was being cared for properly.

But they never expected to find him bloodied and beaten black and blue.

According to Dharmavarama Police Inspector, Harinath, Mallikarjun was angered by Muthyalappa and Nagamma’s request to take their son home.

“According to the victim’s statement, after the heated exchange between his parents the day before, Mallikarjun took him to the farm and brutally assaulted him. The boy’s tongue has been burned with a hot steel rod,” he added.

“Several injuries were found on the boy’s private parts after the preliminary examination conducted at the Dharmavaram Government Hospital. As his condition remained critical, the boy was shifted to the Anantapur Government Area Hospital,” the Inspector said.

The police have registered an FIR based on the written complaint given by Vivek’s parents under sections 324, 506, 342 and 34 of the IPC.  The police are still looking out for Mallikarjun, who has absconded.

“We are also verifying the allegations of bonded labour. The Division Labour welfare Officer has been informed about the incident and these officials will visit the village soon,” he added.

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