People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 11

March 14, 2010



Workers Court Arrest In Lakhs


ON March 5, lakhs of workers participated in the Jail Bharo and Satyagraha collectively organised by several trade union organisations in all the state capitals, industrial towns and in many of the district headquarters. More than 10 lakhs workers, as the reports indicated, participated in the action.

This was in continuation of the protest actions these trade union organisations have been organising since September 2009. These organisations include the CITU, AITUC, INTUC, BMS, HMS, AICCTU, AIUTC, UTUC and TUCC. Their protest is mainly against unprecedented price rise, violation of labour laws, disinvestment of profit making public sector units, job losses and failure of the government to set up a national welfare fund for the agricultural and unorganised workers.



In Delhi, thousands of workers, waving banners and placards, participated in the law violation programme. Dr M K Pandhe and Mohd Amin (CITU), Gurudas Dasgupta (AITUC), Dr Sanjeeva Reddy (INTUC), Umraomal Purohit (HMS), R V Subbarao (BMS), S P Tewari (TUCC), R K Sharma (AIUTUC), Abani Roy (UTUC) and Swapan Mukherjee (AICCTU) were in the forefront on the day. Over 10,000 workers and central trade unions leaders courted arrest.

Addressing the protesters, the union leaders said this was the first time all the trade unions had jointly organised a 'satyagraha' on workers� demands on such a massive scale throughout the country.

The agitators shouted slogans in support of their demands and carried placards and banners that demanded drastic steps to check the price rise', no to disinvestment in profit making PSUs', implementation of labour laws and creation of a national fund for social security in the unorganised sector.'

The central trade union organisations expressed deep anguish over the steep rise in indirect taxes, increase in the prices of petroleum products, and reduction in subsidy for urea and other fertilisers. These organisations later decided to meet shortly and chalk out the next phase of action to expand and intensify the agitation.

All the trade unions sent their warm greetings to the working class for making the March 5 Jail Bharo and Satyagraha a great success and urged them to be ready for the next phase of action.



More than one lakh people courted arrest on the day in Tripura as part of the all-India programme of civil disobedience against the spiralling price rise of essential commodities and the centre�s decision to hike the prices of petrol and diesel.

At the call of the CITU Tripura state committee and other mass organisations, all the 17 subdivisions of the state witnessed huge protest actions by the common masses. At Agartala, a slogan shouting procession of protesters started from Battala and marched to the Akashvani Bhavan where the police had put up made barricades. The protesters broke the cordon and courted arrest. CPI(M) Central Committee member Rama Das, AIKS state secretary Narayan Kar and CITU state general secretary Pijush Nag along with 11,289 others courted arrest here. In the 17 subdivisions taken together, more than one lakh people courted arrest at 26 places.



In Tamilnadu, a wide section of workers responded to the joint call given by the central trade unions and more than one lakh workers including thousands of women workers actively participated in the picketings and demonstrations, courting arrest conducted at over 150 centres in the state. 

Auto workers in major cities including Chennai went on a strike and participated in actions.

More than 6000 persons courted arrest at Chennai, led by A Soundararajan (CITU), S S Theagarajan and A M Gopu (AITUC), R P K Murugesan (INTUC), M Subramanian (HMS), Jayaprakash (BMS), A S Kumar (AICCTU), Sivakumar (UTUC) and other trade union leaders.

At Tiruppur, more than 3000 persons including C Govindasamy (MLA) and K Subbaroyan (former MP) courted arrest. In Madurai, they numbered more than 4000. More than 2500 workers courted arrest in Coimbatore.

In Salem, the participation was above 4000, which included around 1500 women workers.

A K Padmanabhan (CITU) was one of around 1000 workers arrested in Thiruvallur.

Those courting arrest numbered 5000 in Tirunelveli, 1500 in Dindigul, 1500 in Kancheepuram, 1500 (includes 530 women) in Madurai Rural, 1100 in Vellore, 1700 in Ramanathapuram, 2700 in Tuticorin and 2500 in Pondicherry.



Maharashtra witnessed on March 5 one of the biggest working class protest actions against the anti-people policies of the Congress lead UPA government at the centre and the Congress-NCP coalition government in this state.

In response to the call given by the central trade union organisations for nationwide actions, there were widespread agitations all over Maharashtra with Mumbai topping the list with largest mobilisations of the working people. The trade unions joint action committee spearheaded this agitations in Mumbai. Determined to break the ban orders and unmindful of the large posse of police force, the workers gathered near the Martyrs Column (Hutatma Chauk) at Flora Fountain in South Mumbai by 4 p m on that day with flags and banners. By 4.30, the area around Hutatma Chauk got swelled with 5000 slogan shouting protesters ready to court arrest. Significantly, a majority of the marching protesters were women who came from different parts of the city. Domestic workers and anganwadi employees were a large chunk of the women who participated in this Jail Bharo agitation in Mumbai. Bank and insurance employees also came in good numbers.

The major organisations which mobilised for this Jail Bharo agitation were the CITU, AITUC, HMKP, HMS, NRMU, Kamgar Aghadi and the organisations of state and central government employees. It needs specifically to be noted here that quite a number of those arrested were from the Shiv Sena led Bharatiya Kamgar Sena Mahasangh and Congress led INTUC.

The other places in Maharashtra where similar agitations took place included Nasik, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Kolhapur, Amravati, Pune, Jalna, Chandrapur and Nanded. CITU functionaries and leaders were in the forefront of these demonstrations. Among the leaders who courted arrested were Narsayya Adam Master, K L Bajaj and Dr D L Karad (CITU), Sukumar Damle (AITUC), Suryakant Mahadik (Kamgar Senamaha Sangh), Dada Samant (Kamgar Aghadi), Suryakant Bagal (HMS), Shankar Salvi (HMKP), Sunil Gaacharya (INTUC), S K Bose (NRMU) and Professor K K Theckedath.  (P R Krishnan)    



On March 5, the J&K state committee of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions organised a protest rally in Jammu, starting from the divisional commissioner�s office and passing through the Jain Bazar, Kachichowni, Purani Mandi, City Chowk, Ragunath Bazar, Hari Market and Indra Chowk. The demonstrators, led among others by CITU state president M Y Tarigami, courted arrests at Indra Chowk in Jammu.

While addressing the rally, Tarigami dealt at length with the disastrous consequences of the destructive and neo-liberal economic policies the central government has been implementing since the early nineties.

CITU working president Javaid Ahmad Zarger, general secretary Om Prakash, treasurer Sham Prasad Kesar and chief organisr Nirdosh Uppal also addressed the rally. They also reiterated the need for early execution of identified power projects, viz Pakaldul, Kiru, Swalakot, Baglihar-II and Rattle, and of absorption of local workforce in their construction. (INN)