Working with bare hands and no safety gears, labourers working at various factories in Bawana Industrial Area risked their lives for money which they would get after working overtime. An image clicked by one of the workers who died in the blaze shows them dealing with explosives with bare hands.One of the deceased, Pintu Pandit, who had recently started working at the factory had on one occasion shared a picture of him and other workers working at the factory with his family. The picture shows them only wearing a yellow mask and packing the explosives with bare hands. “He had cleared his first year exams and had started working to earn some money. The way they functioned was dangerous with the shutter down and all of them dealing with explosives, which they were told was colour,” said one of his family members. The yellow stained hands were a common sight with the labourers working there.Labourers in the area alleged that there were around 30-35 people inside the factory, but the authorities are hiding the exact toll.”The tea stall person had delivered around 42 cups of tea inside the factory, but only 17 died and two were injured — where are the others? Even if some of them left at 5:30 pm, there might still be 30-35 people inside. Where are they?” said Akhil Kapoor. Kapoor further added that the police officials were aware of the cracker factory. “When they come and collect cash from factory owners, how is it possible that they are unaware? They keep the premises locked to avoid any raids,” he added.The usual practice of having the main gate locked is a common sight in the industrial area. “The life of a labourer is the least among the concerns of the factory owners. While some have grills, there are some who have even built walls and keep the main gate locked. It is a death trap for all of us but we have no option but to work. There are times when we don’t know if by evening we will have our jobs,” said Audesh Tiwari. Extortion in the name of a local gangster is carried out regularly.Police officials were deployed at the building to make sure no one enters the building where the blaze took place. Labourers were lured with double the money for working overtime and hence, despite the usual time of leaving at 5 pm, there were still many who were working and were surrounded by the thick smoke.Dreary workLabourers’ yellow stained hands were a common sight as they worked with bare hands The practice of having the main gate locked is a common sight in the area

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Labourers worked with bare hands in factory