Tag Archives: India

Massive India Strike Poses Fresh Challenge to Government

Source: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/business/massive-india-strike-poses-fresh-challenge-to-government/501143
February 28, 2012

Trade unionists participating in a rally to show support for the All India General Strike, in Siliguri, India on Monday. The strike has been called by 11 unions to protest against rising prices and fixed minimum wages for contract laborers. (AFP Photo)
Trade unionists participating in a rally to show support for the All India General Strike, in Siliguri, India on Monday. The strike has been called by 11 unions to protest against rising prices and fixed minimum wages for contract laborers. (AFP Photo)

 

New Delhi. A nationwide strike called by trade unions including those affiliated with the government hit Indian cities Tuesday, with millions expected to join the call for tighter labor laws and a minimum wage.

Eleven central trade unions have backed the strike call, posing a fresh challenge to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his leftist administration, which had called on the unions to call off the show of force.

“This is an historic occasion. For the first time all the big trade unions have come together to protest the anti-labour polices of the government,” All India Trade Union Congress general secretary Gurudas Dasgupta said.

Among the unions’ demands are a national minimum wage, permanent jobs for 50 million contract labourers and greater government efforts to rein in the rising cost of living.

“We gave the government ample opportunity to discuss these issues. Now striking is the only option before us,” Dasgupta said.

“We are fighting for our rights against a government that is anti-people,” he added.

Singh’s government, already tainted by a series of high-profile corruption scandals, has struggled to keep inflation in single digits at a time when the economy is growing at its slowest rate for three years.

Transport, banking and postal services were all expected to be hit by the 24-hour strike that began midnight Monday.

In Kolkata, a traditional trade union stronghold, most bank branches, shops and other businesses were closed, with taxis and rickshaws staying off the streets.

But the city’s metro was working normally, and West Bengal’s firebrand Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had denounced the strike call, brought 1,000 state-owned buses into the city to ease the transport problem.

Kolkata police chief R.K. Pachnanda said 10,000 police officers had been deployed across the city, including special units in government offices, bus depots and metro stations to prevent intimidatory picketing by union activists.

In New Delhi, traffic was lighter than usual and people arriving at the capital’s main railway station struggled to find transport to other areas of the city.

“Our most important demand is the abolition of contract labour and a check on the uncontrolled increase in prices,” said G. Sanjeeva Reddy, president of the Indian National Trade Union Congress, affiliated to Singh’s Congress party.

“We will study the reaction of the government to this strike before deciding on our future course of action,” Reddy told AFP.

Agence France-Presse


Stop the Repression & Do Justice with the People affected by Land acquisition

To: The Chief Minister

Government of Orissa, Bhubaneswar, India

Subject: Regarding the JSPL’s repression of the people affected by land acquisition

 

Dear Sir,

People from 40 villages affected by land acquisition for Jindal Thermal Power India Limited (JTPIL) were peacefully demonstrating since November 2011 near Kaliakata gate of the steel plant in Angul for their demands like fulfilling the promise of providing jobs and proper rehabilitation. Rather than fulfilling their demands, the company started repression of the people in order to end their demonstration.

On Jan 25, 2012 security guards of the JSPL suddenly launched a full-fledged attack on them causing serious injuries to about 200 villagers including 50 women and one three year old child. It is also alleged that the police also participated in this repression of the people along with security guards of the company. It is a pity that even after such an incident of repression of the people by a corporate, the state machinery is not taking any action against the company. It is sad that state machinery has become so insensitive that it is not even ensuring the proper treatment to the injured.

We strongly condemn this attempt of unleashing repression on people’s movement fighting for Just demands. We condemn the JSPL’ attempts of silencing the people rather than fulfilling their demands. We condemn the attempts of police and other government officials directed to silence the people rather than ensuring them justice.

We demand:

  1. Immediately provide proper medical treatment to all injured people and adequate compensation
  2. Register the criminal case against those directly and indirectly involved in the repression including JSPL officials, police and other Government officials, and arrest them
  3. The company must be compelled to fulfill the demands of the people without any delay, including: a) Job Cards to each of the affected families, b) Compensation of Rs 300000 to the people above the age of 60yrs and those handicapped, c) Restriction on plying of heavy vehicles on the road connecting Kaniha and Ghantianali, d) ensuring unrestricted water supply to villagers e) other resettlement measures and periphery development etc.

Contact person:

Amulya  Kumar Nayak

Odissa Shramjivi Union, Talcher

Mobile: 9861409290

Email:  amulyaactivist@gmail.com

 

Co-Signed by:

  1. Asia Monitor Resource Centre, Hong Kong
  2. Centre for Workers Education
  3. Coastal Development Partnership (CDP), Bangladesh
  4. Cordillera Peoples Alliance, Philippines
Online petition: 

========================

Protest against the Repression of the People by Jindal Steel and Power India Limited/Jindal Thermal Power India Limited

 

Background


People from 40 villages affected by land acquisition for Jindal Steel and Power India Limited (JSPL) were peacefully demonstrating since November 2011 near Kaliakata gate of the steel plant in Angul for their demands like fulfilling the promise of providing jobs and proper rehabilitation. They were not ready to end their demonstration unless their demands were met. Rather than fulfilling their demands, the company lastly started repression of the people in order to end their demonstration. On Jan 25, 2012 security guards of the JSPL suddenly launched a full-fledged attack on them causing injuries to about 400 villagers with serious injuries to about 90 people with majority of them women and one three year old child.  It is a pity that even after such a repression of the people by a corporate, the state machinery is maintains its inhuman silence. It is not even ensuring the proper treatment to the injured, what to hope about taking action against the company. Till date, the injured people are lying in the verandah of the Angul district hospital and are not receiving proper treatment.

 

We appeal to the international community that in the name of justice and humanity to take proactive action on this issue, send protest letters to the district authorities, state government of Orissa, Central government of India and relevant international forums to stop the repression of the people who have already lost their livelihoods and are not only denied any alternative livelihood but also safety of their life.

 

The Issues behind the Conflict


Talcher-Angul-Meramandali area of Angul and Dhenkanal districts of Odisha has been already declared by the Central Pollution Control Board as  the 7th critically polluted industrial zone of India due to a large number of coal mines ,coal power plants, almunium smelter and steel industries operating here. Projects of many more companies are in pipeline to setup more coal mines and industries in Angul and Dhenkanal districts of Odisha. Thousands of acres of agricultural lands including forest and water sources have been destroyed by the companies by way of land acquisitions and also by way of pollution. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their livelihoods and habitations. On the other hand, the companies are not fulfilling their promises of proper rehabilitation by way of providing fair compensation of land, jobs and development of infrastructural facilities for the people. The companies are using repression to suppress the voice of the people demanding for their rights.

 

Jindal Steel & Power Ltd.(JSPL) of Navin Jindal, a Rajya Sabha M.P (member of parliament) has acquired 6400 acres land  of village Nisha, Jarada, Bada Kerejeng, Sana Kerejeng, Sana Jamunda, Jamunda Jangal, Kaliakta,Ramadiha, Paripara, Dudhiabeda, Golagadia, Sakasinga, Manapur, Mahitoila, Raijharan, Tangarsahi etc. in Banarpal and Chhendipada block of Angul district. More than 100000 people (25,000 families) of 40 villages (including about 20% Tribals and Dalits) have been affected/ displaced by the project. The company had assured to provide permanent job, skill development training, compensatory allowance to the unemployed and old age persons, proper resettlement and rehabilitation and other periphery development facilities. The construction work on the project site started since 2006, the company did not offer any secure job to the affected people. The company was paying Rs.2700 per head to about 3000 affected persons as a supporting allowance. But after completion of boundary wall of the company, all of a sudden the company stopped the allowance payment; water supply that was provided by the company to affected villages was also stopped; and similarly the other facilities provided by the company were also stopped. The people approached to the company officials and district administration and continuously pursued for three months requesting them to resume the allowance payment, water supply and other facilities, but their demands were not met. Therefore, with no hope from any where, they organized themselves under the banner of Birankeswar Silpanchal Kshyatigrast Prajasangh, Angul and started demonstrations at the company gate since November 2011.

 

In the meantime they continued to approach the company authorities Angul district administration and state government officials. On January 19, 2012 the people of Kaliakata village (fully displaced) came to the company office to put forward their grievances. But the security guards of the company misbehaved with them and kicked a pregnant woman. It was after this incident, that large number of people from 40 affected villages organized a big demonstration at the company gate and stopped the construction work of the project.

 

On Jan 24, 2012, the company and concerned government officials came to the demonstration place and promised to conduct a joint meeting at Bada Kerejeng Birankeswar temple to resolve the problems. But they did not appear for the meeting. Therefore to get a new date for the meeting, people decided to meet the company authorities next day.

 

On January 25, 2012 about one thousand women and men of the affected villages were present at the demonstration at Subarnpur gate of the company. They wanted to meet the company authorities. The company security guards and police force from Nisha Silpanchal Police Station, and some other government officials were present there. They opened the gate and allowed the people to go inside. The women were in front and few men were accompanying them. They were moving towards the company office peacefully, but all of a sudden the company security guards launched a full-fledged attack on them. They spared no one. Women, men and children all were brutally beaten by security guards. They tiered away the clothes of the women and kick them by boots. It is alleged that the police also participated in this repression along with security guards. About 400 people including women were injured, and 94 people received serious injuries with majority of them women. The police or the company did not extend any helping hand to injured. The activists took them to the Angul hospital. Seriously injured people were later transferred to the Hospitals in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. Seriously injured included Manjit Sahu a 3 year old child, many women including Basanti Pradhan, Ratani pradhan, Santilata Behera, Lalita Pradhan, Upasi Pradhan, Tara pradhan, Lily Biswal, Ahalya Pradhan, Yashoda sahoo, Hema Pradhan, Bari Sahoo, Sukanti Pradhan, Mini Rout, Binodini Roul etc, and men including Dara Sethi, Nilamani Dhal, Nisha behera, Sudhakar sahoo, Soubhagya behera, Birendra Sing, Amar Sahoo etc.

 

For more information please contact the following:


Amulya  Kumar Nayak

Odissa Shramjivi Union, Talcher

Mobile: 9861409290

Email:  amulyaactivist@gmail.com

 

Also see the photos of the victims (attached)

 

You may also read following stories published in National daily Times of India:

Human rights body probe sought into Jindal Steel attack case

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-02-01/bhubaneswar/31012459_1_angul-jspl-project-security-personnel

Angul villagers to boycott elections

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-01-23/bhubaneswar/30655333_1_panchayat-poll-angul-villagers-boycott-elections

Angul villagers protest land acquisition

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-01-07/bhubaneswar/30601777_1_villagers-protest-land-acquisition-power-plant-rail-traffic

Tension on JSPL Angul campus after villagers, workers clash with guards

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-12-20/bhubaneswar/30537700_1_workers-clash-land-losers-security-personnel

Angul land losers seek compensation

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-11-14/bhubaneswar/30396674_1_land-losers-land-losers-proper-compensation

Read more