SAHIWAL: Police claim to have arrested one of the owners of a brick company at Pakpattan Chowk few days after a child labourer had his hand ‘crushed’ in a machine.
And although the Chak Badian police have registered a case against one of the owners of Ali Waris Brick Company under section 334 of PPC, they have not included any section in FIR No 104/16 that explains violation of the recently promulgated Section 6 of the Child Labour Ordinance 2016.
SHO Qazi Basit claimed that a case was registered on March 24 (Thursday) against brick company owners Rao Iftikhar and Rao Saleem on the complaint of boy’s father Maqbool. Police claim in the FIR that Azhar was not working there but went to the place to serve food to his two elder brothers who are employed there.
Eyewitnesses and hospital surgical ward record confirm that 11-year-old Azhar was brought to the DHQ hospital on the night between March 21 and 22 by kiln owner Rao Ishtiaq after his right hand was crushed in a machine. The doctor first conducted a surgery and then cut Azhar’s right hand to avoid infection. The child is still under treatment at the hospital.
This correspondent learnt that Azhar works as a labourer at the company, where his two brothers Mazhar, 18, and Abid, 23, also work. Seven to eight children work on that machine which is placed 200 yards away from the company premises and only children under 14 work on that machine during evening shift starting 4pm.
Azhar’s uncle Asif Bashir said the child while throwing mud into the machine had his right hand crushed.
Azhar’s father said the child was employed against a daily wage of Rs230 by Rao Iftikhar, Rao Saleem and Rao Ishtiaq, the three brothers who own the company.
At the hospital, Azhar talked to this correspondent and said he had been working for the last three months. He is a sixth class student at the a school of Dakhaali Nanakpur, Pakpattan.
Azhar’s family said the police were initially reluctant to register a case but the matter was brought to the notice of the civil society which helped case registration.
Anjum Matto, director, Insan Dost Association, said the police did not include any section of the new child law related to brick kiln industry.
District Labour Officer (Pakpattan) Nadir Khan said he would award compensation to the family after receiving application.
The family has demanded that the higher authorities including the chief minster and the Lahore High Court chief justice take notice of the incident.
Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2016