People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
September 03, 2006
‘Down With Anti-Worker Virbhadra Govt’
Workers Stage Protest At Himachal Bhavan In Delhi
HUNDREDS of workers and CPI(M) activists staged an angry demonstration in front of Himachal Pradesh Bhawan in New Delhi protesting against the arrest and torture of Himachal Pradesh CITU secretary and CPI(M) secretariat member Dr Kashmir Singh Thakur in Chamba, Himachal Pradesh. Dr Thakur was leading an agitation against the anti-worker actions of the contractor of Chamera-III hydel project of NHPC at Chamba district.
The demonstration, organised by CITU Delhi state committee, witnessed participation of women, youth and students along with workers to protest this repression of trade union leaders in Himachal Pradesh. Workers and leaders of adjoining Haryana and UP areas also took part, particularly from Gurgaon. Carrying placards calling for punishment of guilty police officials, the workers chanted slogans against Congress state government. “Down with anti-worker Virbhadra Government” and “Red Salute to the fighting workers” slogans rent the air at the Safdar Hashmi Marg on which is situated the Himachal Bhavan.
The demonstration was addressed by CITU secretary and MP, Tapan Sen, CITU secretary, Dipankar Mukherjee, Delhi CITU general secretary, Mohan Lal and Haryana CITU general secretary Satveer Singh, CPI(M) Delhi state secretary P M S Grewal and Janavadi Mahila Samity leader Sehba Farooqi. From the rally a memorandum addressed to the state chief minister was submitted through the Resident Commissioner.
Tapan Sen in his speech reminded the gathering that Hindustan Construction Company management had got three CITU leaders killed recently. It was against these killings that Kashmir Singh Thakur was leading the agitation of around 300 workers against the management of HCC. When they staged a protest, the private security of the company and state police attacked the workers and arrested Thakur and another key witness in the murder of CITU leaders.
Dipankar Mukherjee in his speech warned the Congress-led UPA government to put a halt to its anti-worker policies which were resulting in such repression of workers’ rights. He called upon workers to unite and fight for safeguarding their hard-won rights.
All the speakers demanded immediate release of Dr Thakur from custody and punishment for the guilty police officials who used third degree methods, lifting of all false cases against the leaders and meeting the demands of the agitating workers. They called upon workers to organise countrywide solidarity action in other projects of NHPC and HCC to compel the concerned management to concede the just demands of the workers and end the stalemate in Chamera-III project.
The Delhi state committee of the CPI(M) Delhi State Committee has announced a donation of Rs 50,000 to the workers of the Chamera-III hydel project in Chamba. It was also announced in the rally that a three member CPI(M) parliamentary delegation led by CPI(M) leader in Lok Sabha Basudev Acharia and comprising Tapan Sen and Amitava Nandy would visit Chamba for an on-the-spot study of the situation.