MODERN DAY SLAVERY—IN THE BACK OF A LIQUOR STORE
Employers often provide benefits to their workers, but being allowed to take baths at the mop sink is generally not one of them.
That’s what an Indian man had to do, while being held captive in a liquor store in Gilroy, California.
The man’s enslavement was discovered last February by agents from Alcoholic Beverage Control. Visiting the store to investigate if the man had sold liquor to a minor, the agents determined that the man was living in a small storage room in the back area of the store. According to the local district attorney’s report, the agents found a thin mattress lying over milk crates, an office desk containing clothes, pots and pans on top of the desk, and a mop sink with a faucet and shampoo bottle, where the man had apparently been bathing.
The district attorney recently brought charges against Amarjit and Balwinder Mann, both 66, for locking the man in their liquor store and making him work 15-hour shifts, seven days a week, without pay.
The Manns, who own M&M Liquors and Gavilan Market on the same street, face charges of human trafficking, witness intimidation, and wage theft involving a total of four victims.
“Slavery officially was abolished in 1865,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “Tragically, we are seeing examples of it in 2020.”
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Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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