Indian worker dies in Italy: “Dumped like a bag of rubbish”,says Union

Photo- @davidefaraone

ROME: A 31-year-old Indian worker, Satnam Singh, reports say, died in Italy after being loaded into a van and then dumped in front of his house along with his wife. Abandoned with his arm severed by a machine, resting on a vegetable box. He lost his limb in the plastic wrapper towed by a tractor, the serious injury left him no escape. The incident has once again brought into focus the ‘agro-mafias’ that run migrant labor rackets, who exploit them and have scant regard for human labor and dignity.

Wanted In Rome reports, ” Neighbours called emergency services and the man – whose arm had been torn off by plastic-wrapping farm machinery – was transported by air ambulance to Rome’s San Camillo hospital. Despite undergoing several operations, the delay in getting Singh to hospital proved fatal and he died of his injuries.

The Latina prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into negligence and manslaughter, with several news outlets reporting that the owner of the company for which Singh worked is among those being investigated.

Singh and his wife arrived in Italy a couple of years ago and ended up working – reportedly without a regular contract – in the fields around Latina where there is a large community of labourers from Asian countries. Singh’s death has put renewed spotlight on the rampant exploitation of migrants in the agricultural sector, particularly in the south, with many working in slave-like conditions under the illegal gang master system.

The Guardian quotes Italy’s Labour Minister, Marina Calderone, condemning it as  “true act of barbarity” and hoped that those responsible would be punished. “The Indian agricultural worker who suffered a serious accident in the countryside of Latina and was abandoned in very serious conditions … has died,” she told the Italian Parliament.

The incident has also prompted centre-left opposition politicians and trade unions in Italy to demand government action to tackle the situation.

“Throwing a human being into the street with an arm amputated by a machine is a barbaric act” – said the leader of the centre-left Partito Democratico in the labour commission Arturo Scotto – “a violence that takes us back to serfdom. We must continue to condemn gang mastering as not just a hateful practice, but the centre of a production chain that uses these means to save on work. And very often with the active participation of the mafia.”

Singh’s death, and the circumstances surrounding it, was also condemned by Hardeep Kaur, general secretary of the Frosinone Latina branch of the FLAI-CGIL trade union which represents agricultural labourers and workers in the food processing industry.

“Here we are not only faced with a serious accident at work, which is already alarming and avoidable in itself” – Kaur said – “We are faced with the barbarity of exploitation, which tramples on people’s lives, dignity, health and every rule of civilisation”.

The Lazio Region said it will cover Singh’s funeral expenses and that in the event of a trial it will act as a civil party.

ANI adds:

An Indian national has died in Italy’s Latina, the Indian Embassy in Italy said in a statement. The Embassy said that it is in contact with local authorities and that efforts are being made to contact the family and provide consular assistance.

The Indian Embassy in Italy stated on X, “The Embassy is aware of the very unfortunate demise of an Indian national in Latina, Italy. We are in contact with local authorities. Efforts are underway to contact the family and provide consular assistance.”

According to the Flai CGIL trade union, instead of receiving help from the employer, “Singh was dumped like a bag of rubbish near his home.”
More details regarding the incident are awaited.

PTI adds: The owner of the fruit and vegetable picking firm, and Satnam’s employer, Antonello Lovato, may face gangmastering and manslaughter charges, Ansa quoted Latina police as saying.

-With inputs from ANI, Wanted In Rome, Guardian Australia & PTI.


By SAT News Desk & others

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