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Odisha CM asks officials to rescue 35 labourers held captive in Laos

According to reports, the workers from Rajkanika block of Kendrapara district alleged that the company had also forcibly taken away their passports.

Edited By: Hritika Mitra @MitraHritika Bhubaneswar Published on: October 14, 2023 10:18 IST
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik
Image Source : FILE Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday asked officials to bring back 35 labourers allegedly held captive by a company in Laos for which they were working. Urging the government to bring them back, the labourers in a video clip said the plywood company stopped its operations about one-and-a-half-months ago, but they were neither allowed to return nor paid wages.

After it was brought to the notice of the state government, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed officers concerned to make arrangements for bringing them back home. Following this, the state labour commissioner took up the issue with the Indian embassy in Laos, a CMO official said. The embassy informed the Odisha government that all steps will be taken for the safe return of the workers to India, he said.

The labourers had sent the video clip to the people in their village, who contacted the local MLA. The legislator in turn brought it to the notice of the state government. "We have no money or food to eat. We are also not allowed to return," said Saroj Palai, one of the labourers held captive in the Southeast Asian country.

(with inputs from PTI)

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