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Italian employer arrested in connection with Punjabi farm labourer Satnam Singh's death

Singh, 31, was left on the road without medical attention by his employer Antonello Lovato after heavy farm machinery severed his arm.

Reported by:  PTC News Desk  Edited by:  Annesha Barua -- July 03rd 2024 05:15 PM
Italian employer arrested in connection with Punjabi farm labourer Satnam Singh's death

Italian employer arrested in connection with Punjabi farm labourer Satnam Singh's death

PTC News Desk: The owner of the agricultural enterprise that abandoned a 31-year-old Indian labourer on the road without providing medical attention after his arm was cut by heavy field machinery, resulting in his death—a tragic event that stunned the nation and its leaders—has been taken into custody by the Italian police.

After a strawberry wrapping machine in Lazio, near Rome, cut Satnam Singh's arm last month, the ANSA news agency said that Singh died from "copious bleeding" and was left without support from his company.

After being evacuated to a hospital in Rome, the Sikh casual agricultural labourer from Punjab passed away two days later. According to the story, Singh's manslaughter death was suspected to have been caused by Antonello Lovato, the putative gangmaster, who was detained by police on Tuesday.

The Sikh farmer "would in all likelihood have been saved if he had been promptly assisted," according to a statement released by the prosecution after he had a severe hemorrhage and passed away in a Rome hospital.

Gurmukh Singh, the president of the Lazio Indian community, stated, "We were furious. We were waiting for this news."

He was cited as stating, "The worst thing (Lovato) did was to leave him outside his home instead of taking him to hospital."

"While accidents do happen, it is unacceptable to go without medical attention," he stated. Outrage over new forms of slavery and gangmastering, which is common in Italy, particularly in the south, has been sparked by Singh's death.

An earlier allegation claimed that Lovato abandoned Singh and his spouse by the side of the road close to their house after loading them into a van. Singh had his amputated limb stored in a fruit carton.

According to the statement, Soni, the widow of Singh, who underwent shock treatment following the incident, was granted a special "justice" stay visa to terminate her illegal status in Italy.

India requested on June 26 that Italy move quickly to bring those accountable for Singh's demise to justice.According to a post on X by the Indian Embassy in Italy, Muktesh Pardeshi, Secretary [CPV & OIA], informed Luigi Maria Vignali, the Director General for Italian Citizens Abroad and Migration Policies, of India's "deep concern" on Singh's passing. He "urged swift action against those in charge." The mission also stated that the embassy is in contact with Satnam Singh's family regarding consular assistance and the transportation of his body.

Singh is one of thousands of Indian immigrants who work in the country's fields. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said last month that Singh was the victim of "inhuman acts."

"The Italian people do not deserve these barbaric deeds. She expressed her expectation that the stern punishment for this barbarism would come after a Cabinet meeting.

Singh's death, according to Italy's Labor Minister Marina Calderone, was a "act of barbarity." Giuseppe Conte, the head of the opposition 5-Star Movement (M5S), had pushed Meloni to take action to end cruel gangmastering.

"While working in the fields for four euros an hour, you lose your arm. You don't get care right away. They load you up into a van and leave you outside your house like trash," Conte said on X.

Next to you, there's a strawberry basket holding your amputated arm. You expire, bleeding out. It resembles the tale of a slave from ancient times. He wrote, "We cannot shut our eyes, we cannot consider profiting at the expense of the dignity of labor and the last remnants of humanity."

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He continued, "We are prepared to contribute in the house to the fight against these barbaric practices, which need to be eradicated from Italy's fields.

In Italy, particularly in the south, gangmastering and the frequently violent exploitation of migrant farm laborers are persistent issues.

Thousands of immigrant laborers, mostly Sikhs, are employed in Latina to pick fruit and vegetables for the "agro-mafia" in the area.

Agency for insurance coverage for workplace accidents Earlier this month, INAIL reported that there had been an increase in fatal accidents in Italy, from 268 to 268, in the first four months of this year.

It said there were roughly 100 the previous year.

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- With inputs from agencies

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