Workers lured to New Jersey were paid $1.20 per hour for years: lawsuit

New Jersey

People stand near the entrance to the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Robbinsville Township, N.J., Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Workers from marginalized communities in India were lured to the U.S. and forced to work long hours for just a few dollars per day to help build the Hindu temple in New Jersey, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday, May 11, 2021. The lawsuit filed in federal court accuses the leaders of the Hindu organization known as Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, or BAPS, of human trafficking and wage law violations. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A lawsuit says workers from marginalized communities in India were lured to New Jersey and forced to work more than 12 hours per day at ultra-low wages to help build a Hindu temple.

An FBI spokesperson confirmed Tuesday that agents were at the temple on “court-authorized law enforcement activity.”

The lawsuit filed in federal court accuses the leaders of the organization known as BAPS of human trafficking and wage law violations. It claims as many as 200 workers had their passports taken away when they arrived and were forced to live in a fenced-in compound where their movements were monitored by cameras.

BAPS officials denied the allegations to The New York Times.

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