Indian farm worker in Italy ‘left to die on road’ with severed arm

<span>Agricultural workers in Latina, near Rome. The area has a large community of Indian migrant labourers.</span><span>Photograph: Alessandra Tarantino/AP</span>
Agricultural workers in Latina, near Rome. The area has a large community of Indian migrant labourers.Photograph: Alessandra Tarantino/AP

A trade unionist has called for a crackdown against “barbaric exploitation” after an Indian farm worker died when he was allegedly being left on a road by his employer following an accident that severed his arm.

Satnam Singh, 31, was injured on Monday while working on machinery on a farm in Latina, a rural area close to Rome with a large community of Indian immigrant labourers.

Singh, who came to Italy with his wife three years ago, was allegedly left with his arm severed on the road outside his home in Borgo Santa Maria.

Police said they were called by his wife and an air ambulance was sent to transport him to San Camillo Forlalini hospital in Rome, where he died of his injuries on Wednesday.

His Italian employer is under investigation for manslaughter, violation of workplace safety regulations and failure to provide aid.

Singh had been working on a plastic roller wrapping machine attached to a tractor when the accident occurred, according to initial investigations.

“Adding to the horror of the accident is the fact that, instead of being rescued, the Indian farm worker was dumped near his home,” Laura Hardeep Kaur, general secretary of the Frosinone-Latina unit of the Flai Cgil union, told Il Giorno newspaper.

“He was left on the road like a bag of rags, like a sack of rubbish … despite his wife begging [the employer] to take him to hospital. Here we are not only faced with a serious workplace accident, which in itself is already alarming, we are faced with barbaric exploitation. Enough now.”

Latina is known as an area for the exploitation of migrant labourers. Hardeep Kaur said Singh was working for €5 an hour without a legal work contract. “Foreign labourers continue to be invisible, at the mercy of ferocious bosses, often Italian,” she added.

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Italy’s labour minister, Marina Calderone, condemned the “true act of barbarity” and hoped that those responsible would be punished. “The Indian agricultural worker who suffered a serious accident in the countryside of Latina and was abandoned in very serious conditions … has died,” she told parliament.

Agriculture minister Francesco Lollobrigida said on Thursday that Giorgia Meloni’s government was “on the frontline … to fight against all forms of labour exploitation”. He added: “This is a tragedy which mustn’t leave us indifferent and on which full light must be shed.”

The centre-left Democratic party (PD) condemned the man’s treatment as a “defeat for civilisation”, while urging the government to take action to rid Italy of the so-called “agro-mafias” that run migrant labouring rackets.