CHTCS-Logo-For-SiteIn Bangalore, India, back-to-back rescue missions helped save 155 people subjected to forced labor for three years at incense factories. The International Justice Mission (IJM) received a call on May 28 from a police officer in Bangalore, asking for help with a planned rescue operation at one incense factory. The IJM immediately sent a team to rescue the 107 laborers that were trafficked more than 800 miles.

Each man shared their horror stories, revealing that, “they were forced to work seven days a week from 6am until 2am, some having to handle dangerous chemicals.” The laborers also said that they were physically abused by the owner, and prohibited from medical attention. All 107 laborers shared a single room with just one toilet.

Two of the rescued men said that their brothers were being held at a nearby factory in Tamil Nadu, where the IJM luckily had two officers nearby. Another team was mobilized and able to rescue 48 more forced laborers in Tamil. “As we searched the facility I was totally flabbergasted, shocked, amazed. There was no electricity; the room was pitch dark. I was using the flashlight on my phone, searching the factory but finding nothing. Eventually, in one of the smaller rooms, I saw a bunch of people crammed together in the dark,” said Sam George, IJM Director of Aftercare.

IJM has since focused on the aftercare of the laborers, who received government release certificates, ensuring their freedom. They were then returned to their families while the owner, one trafficker, and three employees of the Bangalore factory were arrested.

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