Updated lawsuit against BAPS alleges use of forced labour in US

New York: A prominent Hindu organisation is facing new allegations in an updated lawsuit that it lured labourers from India and forced hundreds of workers to work for low wages at its temple sites across the United States.

In May this year, a group of Indian workers had filed a lawsuit in US District Court alleging violations of human trafficking and wage law against Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS), saying they were confined and forced to work for about USD 1 on constructing the massive Swaminarayan temple in New Jersey.

The New York Times said in a report on Wednesday that in the lawsuit filed in New Jersey federal court and amended last month, BAPS has been accused "of luring labourers from India to work on temples near Atlanta, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles, as well as in Robbinsville, New Jersey, paying them just USD 450 a month.

The amended lawsuit expanded those claims to include temples around the country where some of the men said they were also sent to work. Hundreds of workers were potentially exploited, the lawsuit claimed, the NYT report said.

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