Condemn repression of workers movement in Gorakhpur sign now

Respected Madam,

We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the repression of the workers movement in Gorakhpur by the district administration and police machinery. Workers of Gorakhpur have started a peaceful 'Workers Satyagraha' since May 16 for their demands related to the incident of firing on workers by the hired goons of factory owner on May 3 in Ankur Udyog Ltd, a yarn factory in Bargadwa industrial area of Gorakhpur in which 19 workers sustained injury. Instead of paying attention to the genuine demands of the workers, the district administration is unabashedly taking the side of factory owners and is hell bent on crushing the entirely peaceful movement.

As part of the workers Satyagrah the workers have been undertaking fast-unto-death and staging dharna since the morning of May 16. But on May 20, in order to disperse the workers, this peaceful satyagrah was dealt with heavy lathi charge by police force in the presence of the DIG and 73 workers were taken into custody. Most of them were released by late night but a B. H. U. Student Shweta, woman worker Susheela Devi and 12 others were arrested. The police took away labour leader Tapish Maindola from some other place and was refusing to show his arrest till today morning. Later in the afternoon Tapish was suddenly presented before the court. The Police have registered a case of attempt to suicide under section 309 against all the labour leaders. It is ridiculous because most of the arrested leaders were not among those who sat on the fast. Shweta and Susheela Devi whose health had worsened after five days of hunger strike have been later released on bail. Rest 12 workers have been sent to jail. It is noteworthy that some police and administrative officials had been continuously warning the workers' leaders of 'dire consequences'. They had been particularly targeting Tapish, Pramod Kumar and Prashant and branding them as 'Maoists-Terrorists'.

On May 21, when hundreds of workers started proceeding towards the office of district collector according to a pre announced program, the police resorted to lathi charge at several places and did not allow them to assemble. After that the workers tried to stage a dharna at Gandhi statue in Town Hall but the police did not let them reach even there. For hours, the office of district collector had turned into a cantonment and the police personnel chased out the workers by searching in the neighbouring areas. As soon as police was finding four to five people looking like workers, they were dispersed through lathi-charge. This naked reign of terror continued throughout the day. Although most of the arrested workers were released, 12 labour leaders including Tapish are still in jail and are being implicated in false charges.
It is indeed shocking to learn that instead of rule of law, naked reign of terror prevails in Gorakhpur. Even after more than two weeks of the firing incident, no action has been taken by police to arrest the culprits. No action has been initiated against the officers who were responsible for letting the goons go scot free after firing on workers despite the fact that the goons were captured by the workers when the police arrived on the spot. Even though the factory owner of Ankur Udyog Ltd was forced to end the illegal lock out and take back the arbitrarily dismissed workers after massive protest by the workers on 9th May, the illegal lock out in the two factories of V.N. Dyers still persists and 18 dismissed workers from these factories are yet to be taken back.
Under these disturbing circumstances we demand from you to take immediate action to restore the rule of law in Gorakhpur by taking following steps:
Immediate release of all the labour leaders and revocation of all the false charges slapped on them
Arrest of the accused of the firing incident on 3rd May
Action against the guilty officers who allowed the goons to escape
Judicial enquiry of firing and repression,
Compensation to the injured workers
Ending the lock out in the two factories of V.N. Dyers and reinstatement of all the 18 dismissed workers

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Karen MaysBy:
Entertainment and MediaIn:
Petition target:
Ms Mayawati, The Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh

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