Hindu temple in N.J. accused of exploiting workers it lured from India, lawsuit alleges

ਨਿਊ ਜਰਸੀ, ਅਮਰੀਕਾ ਦੇ ਹਿੰਦੂ ਮੰਦਰ ਦੇ ਨਿਰਮਾਣ ਲਈ 200 ਮਜ਼ਦੂਰਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਭਾਰਤ ਤੋਂ ਲਿਆ ਕੇ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦਾ ਸ਼ੋ ਸ਼ ਣ ਕਰਨ ਦੀ ਖਬਰ ਆ ਰਹੀ ਹੈ। ਕੰਮ ਲਈ 1 ਡਾਲਰ ਪ੍ਰਤੀ ਘੰਟਾ ਤੱਕ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਸੀ…ਇਹ ਕਾਮੇ ਧਾਰਮਿਕ ਵੀਜ਼ੇ ‘ਤੇ ਲਿਆਂਦੇ ਗਏ ਸਨ ਅਤੇ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ‘ਚੋਂ ਇੱਕ ਦੀ ਮੌਤ ਹੋਣ ‘ਤੇ ਬਾਕੀ ਬੋਲਣ ਲੱਗੇ ਹਨ।

A lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday alleges the builders of a New Jersey Hindu temple — considered to be one the largest in the United States — lured workers from India, worked them nearly 90 hours per week and paid them around $1.20 per hour.One worker, the lawsuit claims, died from forced labor.The allegations were made against Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, a Hindu sect known as BAPS, and the leaders who run the Robbinsville temple and its construction. The temple opened in 2014 and is constructed entirely of Italian marble that was sculpted in India and completed on site off Route 130 in Robbinsville.

The temple is known as BAPS Robbinsville.The development comes a month after New Jersey labor authorities halted work by a contractor at the Robbinsville temple and at a BAPS temple in Edison.The new lawsuit is a proposed class action complaint, alleging around 200 workers on religious immigration visas endured forced manual labor for the ongoing construction and expansion of the religious property on the 100-acre site.

The FBI was at the Mercer County property Tuesday, a spokeswoman confirmed. The New York Times first reported that investigators are looking into “claims of labor and immigration law violations.”The 42-page lawsuit outlines years of alleged abusive and inhumane working conditions the men were put through as construction began on the temple and as BAPS continually expanded the religious property.A spokesperson for BAPS did not immediately respond to a request for comment, though he has disputed the accusations, according to the New York Times.“We are naturally shaken by this turn of events and are sure that once the full facts come out, we will be able to provide answers and show that these accusations and allegations are without merit,” Lenin Joshi, the spokesman told the newspaper

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