Letters written to the Prime Minister, President and National Human Rights Commission informing them about the partisan attitude of the administration and the repression-oppression unleashed on workers
27 May. The 12 labour leaders of the Gorakhpur workers movement who were arrested on May 20 have been released on bail today. After getting released Tapish Maindola of the Joint Workers Rights Struggle Front said that the agitation for the demands of workers would now be intensified further.
He said that at the behest of the factory owners, administration is threatening and intimidating the workers and it is trying to crush the labour movement through bullets, canes and jail but it would not succeed. The workers are fighting for their basic rights and now they would not backtrack. Tapish also said that the factory owners have imposed this fight on the workers by forcefully locking out the V.N. Dyers Mills and by firing on workers in Ankur Udyog Ltd. But the administration is speaking the language of the owners and terming us as anarchists and anti-development.
Meanwhile on behalf of the Joint Workers Rights Struggle Front, Prashant wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, President of India and the National Human Rights Commission to inform them about the partisan attitude of the Gorakhpur district administration and police. It is mentioned in the letter that the workers are not being allowed even to stage peaceful sit-in and demonstrations and are not being allowed to meet any official. The S.H.O of Chiluatal police station Gajendra Rai is visiting the workers’ homes personally to threaten and force them to go to the factory.
Shweta, a student of journalism in Banaras Hindu University who was arrested for supporting the labour movement, has also written a letter to the National Womens Commission to complain about the misbehaviour and threat and intimidation by the police. After being released on bail five days after her arrest Shweta said that the S.H.O. of Chiluatal Gajendra Rai has threatened her of dire consequences and of destroying her career. After their arrest she and Susheela Devi, old mother of a worker, were threatened and intimidated even in the ladies police station.
It is to be noted that when the workers were going to meet the district magistrate on May 20 along with the five workers who were on fast, they were lathi-charged multiple times by the police and 25 workers were injured. The police had detained 73 workers, 59 of whom were released late in the night, but 14 labour leaders including Tapish Maindola and two women activists Shweta and Susheela Devi were sent to jail. Each one of them was charged with three cases under different bailable and non-bailable sections.
In the meawhile the Joint Workers Rights Struggle Front has stated in a memorandum given to the principal secretary, labour today that even the basic labour laws are being violated in almost all the factories of Gorakhpur and the local labour officials are openly doing favour to the owners which is the root cause of the continuous labour unrest there. Hence a high level investigation team should be sent there and the condition of all the factories and the role of the local labour office must be investigated. Action should be taken against the officials of the labour department who conducted unilateral talks on May 19 with the owners of V.N. Dyers by keeping the workers out in a biased manner.
Meanwhile the campaign of exposing the industrialists-administration nexus and to gather popular support in favour of the workers’ demands continues through the street meetings in both the industrial areas of Gorakhpur, offices and main spots of the city and through public contact in the residential areas.
The campaign of the condemnation of the repression of the labour movement in Gorakhpur and putting pressure on Mayawati government also continues. Today the issue of repression of the workers of Gorakhpur was raised and solidarity was expressed with the struggling workers at the hunger strike going on in Mumbai in the leadership of Medha Patkar against the demolition of slums in Golibar area. Various activists in the leadership of social activist from Bengaluru Kavery Indira registered their protest with the Chief Minister of UP and other officials through phone and fax. Tomorrow various organisations in Kolakata will protest against the increasing repression of the workers in Uttar Pradesh by sending a memorandum addressed to UP CM Mayawati through the governor.
Citizens Front in support of Gorakhpur Worker’s Movement
Contacts: 9936650658 (Katyayani); 9910462009 (Satyam); 8447011935 (Sandeep)
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