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Dismissal of 72 safai karmacharis in Gujarat's Bagasara town: Complaint filed with NHRC

By Our Representative
A complaint filed with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken strong exception to dismissal of 72 safai karmacharis, who had been working in the Bagasara municipality in Amreli district of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. All of them belonging to the Dalit sub-caste, Valmikis, on March 31, 2020 the Bagasara municipality decided to parcel them out without giving any reason, says the complainant, Kantilal U Parmar, a Dalit rights activist.
Calling it a clear case of caste-based discrimination, Parmar in his letter to HL Dattu, NHRC chairman, called the action “illegal” and “arbitrary”, pointing out, they have not been paid their wages and have no other means of survival ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the national lockdown on March 24.
In a separate complaint to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDAM), said it is part of the regular practice of the municipality to dismiss safai karmacharis after they complete five months, so that they do not claim permanent employment.
“The decision to dismiss 72 safai karmacharis runs counter to the government’s own announcement that nobody would be fired during the lockdown period and that everyone should be paid full wages”, RDAM said, demanding their immediate reinstatement and full pay since April 1.

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