Punjab police raided an illegal drug deaddiction centre near Chamkaur Sahib in Rupnagar district and freed 250 young men who were being treated as bonded labourers, a senior official said Wednesday.
All the 250 men, aged between 20 and 30, were confined in a big room and were beaten everyday, Rupnagar Senior Superintendent of Police Swapan Sharma said.
He said the centre - named Jand Sahib Gurmukhi Academy - had no facility for deaddiction and the owner was charging Rs 20,000 per month from the parents of drug addicts.
They were being treated as bonded labourers and made to feed cattle owned by the academy, he said.
"There was no facility in the name of de-addiction. It was horrible to see the injured youths, some of whom have been admitted to a hospital," the police officer said.
The owner of the centre, Khushwinder Singh alias Kaka, has been arrested along with two caretakers, Dilbagh Singh Baghi and Amandeep Singh, he said.
Police registered cases against them under various sections of the IPC.
Khushwinder Singh, the main accused, already faces eight criminal cases, the police officer said.
He was arrested in connection with the murder case of his maternal uncle but was recently acquitted by the court for a lack of evidence.
Police swung into action after Jaswinder Kaur, a Nawanshahar resident, filed a complaint that her son has been illegally confined by the owner of de-addiction centre.
Police has also recovered 300 'Gutkas' (religious scriptures) of Gurbani and four holy scriptures of Guru Granth Sahib from the premises, the officer said.
The 'Gutkas' and 'Beers' (religious scriptures) have been handed over to Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee, the SSP said.