People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXV

No. 15

April  10, 2011

HARYANA

 

CITU, AIKS Leaders Face Murderous Attack

 

ON March 15, a big protest demonstration came out in Bhiwani, Haryana, demanding the arrest of all the culprits who sought to abduct and cause serious injuries to the leaders of striking brick kiln workers near Manehru village on March 8. The injured included a senior Kisan Sabha leader, Master Sher Singh, and four others. Master Sher Singh, a former president of Sarva Karamchari Sangh, is also state committee member and district secretary of the CPI(M).

 

At the joint call of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), several hundred enraged protesters including a large number of women virtually stormed the district secretariat building against the inaction of the police in arresting the culprits named in the FIR even after more than a week.

 

It is to be noted that brick kiln unionís vice president Bhim Singh and Master Sher Singh had gone to address a meeting of striking workers on March 8. The venue of the meeting was attacked by a large group of armed goons hired by brick kiln owners. These goons took three leaders in captivity and indiscriminately attacked the workers. The abducted leaders were mercilessly beaten up. Alcohol was force-fed into their mouth and sprinkled over their bodies.

 

The police brought back the abducted leaders when some CITU leaders filed an FIR. CPI(M) state secretary Inderjit Singh, too, immediately informed the director general of police about it through a faxed letter, seeking prompt action. Three of the injured victims were found to have suffered fractures. A case was registered under Sections 147, 148, 149, 323, 506, 342, 565 IPC by the Bhiwani police for causing injuries to five persons including a dalit woman, Santosh, who had a fractured leg, and for committing other offences.

 

On March 15, a gathering of over 5000 people assembled in Nehru Park from where they marched through the main roads up to the district administrative complex. They were addressed among others by Dipankar Mukherjee (all-India CITU secretary and a former CPI(M) MP), CPI(M) state secretary Inderjit Singh, Haryana state CITU secretary Surender Singh, state Kisan Sabha general secretary and former CPI(M) legislator Harpal Singh, AIDWA state president Shakuntala Jakhar and others.

 

Inderjit Singh strongly criticised the murderous attack on a peaceful meeting of striking workers by armed brick kiln owners who got three main leaders abducted. He was astonished that the police did not nab the culprits from the site of occurrence when it brought the seriously injured persons to hospital. Dipankar Mukherjee lashed out at the Haryana government for not enforcing the labour laws and totally disregarding the trade union rights. He demanded due increase in the wages of workers and provision of the legally due facilities at the brick kilns. Surender Malik warned that such coward goondaism would not succeed in suppressing the workers who were struggling to achieve their legitimate demands.

 

Led by a large number of women, angry protesters later entered the building when the authorities did not respond despite repeated pleas of the leaders for a reply. The  virtual seize was lifted only when the SP told a delegation that two of the main accused had already been arrested and that the remaining persons would be taken into custody soon.

 

In a later development, the police reportedly arrested five more accused on March 16.