Skip to main content

On hunger strike at home, young Uttarkhand labour rights leader charged with obstruction

By Our Representative
A young labour rights activist and student from Uttarakhand, who happens to be secretary of the Lalkuan Unit of Parivartankami Chhatra Sangathan (PACHHAS), has charged by the Uttarakhand police for participating in a day-long hunger strike from inside his home, demanding provisions for workers, students and other people bereft of food and supplies due to the COVID-19 induced lockdown.
Bringing this to light, a civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), which is an apex body of several students’, trade union and human rights organizations, said, the student, Mahesh, has been charged under Sections 188, 269 and 270 of the IPC and Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act 2005 and accused of disobedience to duly promulgated order, of committing acts likely to spread deadly disease and obstruction.
Calling the police action “unwarranted”, CASR in a statement said, it amounts to “attempting to silence a voice raising questions in a peaceful and safe manner, implies that the State today brooks no dissent and cares not an iota for the fundamental right to freedom of expression.”
CASR said, members of PACHHAS have been conducting hunger strike demanding immediate relief to workers across the state alongside a social media campaign to demand “collecting and distributing rations to areas that are among the worst affected by the unexpected and unplanned lockdown.”
According to CASR, a survey suggests that around 90% of workers had not been paid wages by employers nor had they received any rations from the government. “As a result, many workers and students are on the brink of starvation. This is in addition to the universal threat of COVID-19 infection”, it said.
“Consequently”, CASR continued, “While members of the ruling elite and middle classes ensconce themselves at home bolstered by savings, often working from home and maintaining a source of income, the overwhelming majority of the people, workers and peasants face the dual threat of infection and starvation, the latter more imminent than the former.”
Criticising the “judiciary” for allegedly playing its part with its “incredulous statements emanating from its upper most echelons that question the need to provide economic assistance in addition to food, essential supplies and shelter”, the CASR statement said, the judiciary failed to see the “contemptuous and brutal treatment of workers facing starvation, highlighted by instances of police brutality.”
Regretting that, meanwhile, the Central government is planning to pass three “anti-worker and anti-trade union” labour codes as part of the proposed economic stimulus, CASR said, “It is clear that the lockdown is being used to promote its pro-business and anti-worker policies.”
---
Click here for full statement

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Contempt of court? UP CM taking 'personal vendetta' against Dr Kafeel Khan: Activists

Counterview Desk
Demanding that the Uttar Pradesh government immediately release well-known paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, a group of more than 100 academicians, activists, researchers, doctors and lawyers have said in an open letter that he is being “targeted at the behest of the chief minister”, wondering, “When is an act of challenging the government a threat under the National Security Act (NSA)?”

A locked up offer? Govt of India 'not serious' in involving NGOs: IIM-A survey

By Rajiv Shah
Was the Government of India serious when it asked 92,000 civil society organizations (CSOs) in early April to “assist” state governments and district administrations in taking care of food, shelter and other needs of migrant workers, known to have been affected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’ sudden 21-day lockdown in order to “combat” the spread of Covid-19 virus, announced on March 24?

Will Govt of India, ICMR end 'perverse' practice of extracting profits from ill-health?

By Asmita Verma, Surabhi Agarwal, Bobby Ramakant*
The Epidemics Act, 1897 gives the central and state governments authority to impose any regulations which may be necessary to contain the outbreak of a disease. Some state governments such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh have already used this power to bring private healthcare facilities in their state under government control.

Dalits in India, Blacks in US suffer 'similar' humiliation: Macwan drafts letter to Trump

Counterview Desk
Well-known human rights activist Martin Macwan, recipient of the prestigious Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award in 2000, has drafted an open letter to US President Donald Trump following the disturbing turn of events with the murder of George Floyd, leading to widespread protests in the US. He has sought signatures of concerned citizens before sending it to Trump.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

'Violation' of migrant workers' human rights: Legal notice to IIM-A director, govt babus

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to the police action against protesting migrant workers off the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on May 18, senior Gujarat High Court advocate Anandvardhan Yagnik, in a legal notice to the IIM-A director "on their behalf" has said that the workers had only been seeking to to go back to their home states, Jharkhand and West Bengal, for the last more than 20 days because they were not paid their “earned wages because of the lockdown.”

Sitharaman's offer for rural jobs to 'create' just 3 crore rural jobs. Demand: 12 crore jobs

By Amarjeet Kaur*
The final package, the fifth one in a row, announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on May 17 was a fiasco. Sitharaman during her press conference for two hours and six minutes spent more than an hour detailing the policy actions of her government’s last six years’ rule, repeating the already provided proposals during the two budgets after coming to power for the second time, even as reiterating her briefings on the four earlier packages she had announced over the previous four days.