PAKISTAN(Kotmomin): Peasant disappeared for refusing bonded labor contract as his family seeks justice

Star Welfare Organization has received information from our correspondent the abduction and illegal confinement of a peasant, Nawaz. He was abducted by a local influential man, Umer Farooq, of Kot Momin District Sargodha. Nawazs wife, Amna, and her three children were forced to take refuge at the Hawa Shelter Home. Umer, threatened to kill them and rape Amna. The Police have refused to register a case against Umer as he has political influence in the area.

July 26, 2017

 

STAR WELFARE ORGANIZATION - URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME

Urgent Appeal Case: SWO-UAN-131-2017

Dear friends,

Star Welfare Organization has received information from our correspondent that the abduction and illegal confinement of a peasant, Nawaz. He was abducted by a local influential man, Umer Farooq, of Kot Momin District Sargodha. Nawaz’s wife, Amna, and her three children were forced to take refuge at the Hawa Shelter Home. Umer, threatened to kill them and rape Amna. The Police have refused to register a case against Umer as he has political influence in the area.

ABOUT SWO:

Star Welfare Organization is a non-profit, non-governmental and non-political organization came into existence on Feb 04, 2006 &voluntary Registered under Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control) Ordinance 1961.Organizational Jurisdiction territory is Punjab. The organization is concerned with matters relating to gender based violence, women rights, women development, child rights, eunuch’s rights, women’s & children’s shelter, education, police torture, missing persons, environment protection, youth and community development. This organization is strongly committed towards human rights, sustainable social and economic development and consistent justice within society.

 

Case Narrative:

Ms. Amna with her husband Muhammud Nawaz and their three children worked for the past 3 years in the fields of Umar Farooq. He is a person of influence in the Kot Momin District, Sargodha Punjab Province and he belongs to the powerful tribe of Harral. The family were forced under duress and threats to till the fields. Those responsible are: Umer Farooq, his brother Meher Saqlain, Allah Yar and Liaqat Ali. The victims were required to work at hard labour day after day, from dawn to dusk, without any break. Even the under-aged children were similarly engaged in this hazardous and backbreaking work.

The punishing work load, without a single penny from Umer, compelled Nawaz, the victim, to flee the bonded labour system. Being illiterate and having no other skills to sustain his family, Nawaz sought employment at the farm of another land-owner in the District mentioned above.

Seething and seeking revenge Umer, Meher, Allah Yar and Liaqat approached Abdur Rasheed and Ashraf-- Amna’s brothers. The perpetrators demanded they hand over Amna and her husband or face the consequences. The brothers told Umer and the others that they had no idea of the whereabouts of their sister or her husband.

On 2 February 2016, at 11 am, her brother, Ashraf, went to purchase some medicine from a store located across from the District Hospital, Sargodha. Umer along with another person kidnapped him at gun point. Ashraf was taken to an unknown location where he was severely tortured and viciously beaten. Ashraf’s thumb print was forcibly placed on a blank piece of paper by his captors. Abductors then released him. It later transpired that the blank paper was a Promissory Note showing that Ashraf owes Umer a sum of Pak Rupees 234,000.

Abdur Rasheed and Muhammud Ashraf, the brothers of the victims, went to the Police Station of the Kot Momin District Sargodha They filed a complaint against the kidnapping and torture. However, the Station House Officer (SHO) refused outright to file the complaint. He threatened the brothers to keep silent about the incident. Consequently the brothers submitted an application with the Magistrate. He ordered a medical examination. It was conducted and proved that Ashraf was tortured by the accused persons.

On 25 February 2016, while on his way to the Police Station to file a complaint, Ashraf was kidnapped a second time by Umer and an accomplice who took him to Umer’s residence. They demanded that Amna and her husband be handed over to them-otherwise they will kill Ashraf.

Date of incident: January 15, 2016
Place of incident: Matila, Kotmomin, district Sargodha, Punjab

For fifteen days Ashraf was kept in illegal confinement after which he was released through the intervention of the local elders. Although a court summon was sent by the district magistrate and the High Court to Umer and the others, they refused to appear in Courts. This speaks volumes about the State and the lack of respect for the rule of law in the country. The perpetrators have the backing of the ruling political parties-- Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek -e- Insaf (PTI). They deem themselves above the Law and free to perpetuate violence against a hapless peasant from Kot Momin.

In 2016, Umer managed to trace the whereabouts of Nawaz. He had him kidnapped from the fields at Moazabad, far away from his resident. To date his whereabouts are unknown. Ms. Amna with her three children sought refuge at the Hawa Shelter Home, Sargodha district, managed by the Star Welfare Organisation.

Umer and his accomplice are threatening the staff at the shelter to hand over Amna and her children to them. Amna is pressurised to work in the fields with her children if she wants to see her husband alive. The whereabouts of Nawaz are still unknown despite a lapse of one and a half years.

The poor peasants of Kot Momin are routinely forced into bonded labour by local influential persons who use threats of rape and murder. There is no respite for the hapless populace of the area from the cruelty meted out to them by those in high places. The Police, too, connive with them to perpetuate the violence. They refuse to register any cases of injustice. Fake cases are filed against the complainant himself if he dares to approach the Courts or the Police to complain about the local landlords.

The atrocious conduct of these so-called feudal lords fails to invoke any compassion or action from the State or other functionaries. And so the barbaric and ancient practice of slavery continues unabated right under their noses.

The peasants employed as farm help at Kot Momin are routinely forced into bonded labor, denied minimum wages, harassed and implicated in fake cases if they try to resist the oppression of the owners.

The officials of the International Labor Organization (ILO) believe that there are almost 2.5 million bonded laborers in Pakistan. The Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act of 1992 defines forced labor. It is labor where the workers enter into a contract to pay off a debt and work for nominal or no wages. Even though the Act banned such labor 22 years ago, not much has been done to eradicate this modern form of slavery.
In Article 11 of the Constitution, slavery and forced labor under the Bonded Labor System Abolition Act of 1992, was a punishable offence. Yet no one has ever been implicated in the crime let alone punished.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The peasants employed as farm help at Kot Momin are routinely forced into bonded labor, denied minimum wages, harassed and implicated in fake cases if they try to resist the oppression of the owners.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) believe that there are almost 2.5 million bonded laborers in Pakistan. The Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act of 1992 defines forced labor. It is labor where the workers enter into a contract to pay off a debt and work for nominal or no wages. Even though the Act banned such labor 22 years ago, not much has been done to eradicate this modern form of slavery.

In Article 11 of the Constitution, slavery and forced labor under the Bonded Labor System Abolition Act of 1992, was a punishable offence. Yet no one has ever been implicated in the crime let alone punished.

SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the following authorities, calling upon them to recover Nawaz, a bonded labour, and bring his captors before the court for keeping him illegally confined for such a long period of time. Umer and his accomplice must be arrested without delay for threatening and harassing Amna, her children and her brother Ashraf. The Station House Officer (SHO) must be arrested and prosecuted for not following the law. 

Investigation IS CONTINUE………………….

 

We appeal to the all our respected viewers, that kindly forward this case as much as you can, because it’s time to take action against all such kind of peoples. It’s just the only way to stop violence against women and we are nothing without your help and support. So kindly send us your comments and let us know; 

What you want to do about this case? 
For how long you can bear this case?

 

Written & Edited by:

Bilal Shafique Doger

Coordinator of Child Rights Punjab, Pakistan

Star Welfare Organization

Email:bilalshafique@starwelfare.org

 

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:


1. Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi,
Prime Minister
Prime Minister House
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 51 922 1596
Tel: +92 51 920 6111
E-mail: pspm@pmsectt.gov.pkinfo@pmo.gov.pk

2. Mr. Ahsan Iqbal
Federal Minister for Interior
Ministry of Interior of Pakistan
R Block, Pak Secretariat
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Tel: +92 51 9212026
Fax: +92 51 9202624
Email: interior.complaintcell@gmail.com,
ministry.interior@gmail.com

3. Ms. Rabiya Javeri Agha
Secretary, Ministry of Human Rights
State Life Building No. 5, Blue Area, 
Jinnah Avenue, China Chowk, Islamabad
Fax: +92 51 9204108
Email: contact@molaw.gov.pk

4. Mr. Justice Saqib Nisar,
Chief Justice of Pakistan
Supreme Court of Pakistan
Constitution Avenue, Islamabad
PAKISTAN
Fax: + 92 51 9213452
E-mail: mail@supremecourt.gov.pk

5.Mr. Rafiq Rajwana
Governor of Punjab
Governor House
Mall Road
Lahore, Punjab
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 42 99203044
Email: governor.sectt@punjab.gov.pk

6. Mr. Shahbaz Sharif
Chief Minister
Government of Punjab
Province' Chief Minister
Secretariat' 5-Club Road
GOR-I, Lahore, Punjab
PAKISTAN
Fax: +92 42 99205065
Email: cmcomplaintcell@cmpunjab.gov.pk

Thank you.

 

BABA.M SHAFIQUE DOGER

President Star Welfare Organization

Chairman District Coordination Council of Social Welfare Sargodha

Email: shafiquedogar@starwelfare.org

Phone: +92 48 3717220, +92 4840280 923009607123

Address: Street No. 2, New Abadi kot fareed Sargodha Pakistan

Address 2 : Street No. 1 (Gulshan Plaza street), Dhok kilo khan Opposite Metro Station (Prince hotel)

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