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Traders rescue boy

Bhubaneswar, March 24: Local traders in Bapuji Nagar today rescued a 12-year-old boy who was crying after being beaten up by his employer. They handed him to a non-government organisation (NGO) working for destitute women and children. The boy, who hails from Ganjam district, had been working in a hotel here for the past six months.

“He said his master threatens and beats him up,” said Santanu Parida, a trader. The boy, a Class III dropout, has four sisters and his family members have been staying in Saliasahi area under Nayapalli police station. Although he was working for six months in the hotel, the owner had not paid him his dues. “I was promised Rs 2,000 per month,” he said.

He said this morning the owner of the eatery rebuked him for watching a cricket match on television. “When my owner raised his hand to hit me, I ran for cover. I do not want to work there,” he said.

Kailash Chandra Sarangi, an activist, reached the spot and found the owner trying to force the boy not to divulge anything. “We called the NGO and asked them to take the boy and produce him before the district child welfare committee (CWC) who will take a decision,” said Sarangi.

When a team of the NGO reached there, the owner fled the spot. A member of the NGO took the boy to their office in Samantarapur.