Cops: 9-Year-Old Child Worker Tortured, Killed by Bosses

They allegedly inserted an air compressor into Sagar Barman's rectum
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2016 2:40 PM CDT
Cops: 9-Year-Old Child Worker Tortured, Killed by Bosses
Child laborers are seen working at a factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, last month. On Sunday, a 9-year-old worker at another factory in Dhaka was allegedly tortured and killed by senior employees.   (AP Photo/ A.M. Ahad)

A 9-year-old factory worker in Bangladesh was killed Sunday when other employees allegedly inserted an air compressor's nozzle into his rectum and turned it on, AFP reports. Police say senior employees were upset Sagar Barman went into a restricted area of Zobeda Textile Mill in Dhaka. But Sagar's father, also a worker at Zobeda, tells the New York Times his son was killed because he complained about the beatings they received from senior employees over small mistakes. An assistant administrative officer was arrested Monday in connection with Sagar's death, and police are looking for seven more employees said to have been involved. An administrative officer at Zobeda denies Sagar was killed, telling the Dhaka Tribune Sagar may have died when he tried to use the air compressor to clean his mouth.

Despite child labor being illegal in Bangladesh, UNICEF estimates there are 4.9 million children under the age of 14 working in factories and elsewhere. Sagar had been working at Zobeda for seven months when he was killed. “I thought, as we are poor, it will be helpful to run our family if my son Sagar can do some work in this factory,” his father tells the Times. Two-dozen child workers were sent home from Zobeda, which supplies yarn for Western clothing, when police came to investigate Sagar's death. It's believed hundreds of children work there. Sagar is the second child worker in Bangladesh to be killed by having an air compressor inserted into his rectum this year. Two men were sentenced to death for doing the same thing to a 13-year-old boy in another town last August. (Read more child labor stories.)

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