Update on the Current Situation: 11th July
Update on our campaign:
Throughout this month, we have been holding demonstrations in the various District HQ’s, where we received support from local workers and toiling people, progressive sections of society and various mass organizations, in:
2nd July: Kaithal where we met the DC who again said that our demand for granting permission for a dharna in Kaithal was ‘illegal’, and so was the ongoing dharna in front of the District Commissioner’s office in our support by local mass organizations as he is told so ‘from powers above him’.
7th July: Faridabad where we took out a rally from Piyali Chowk at 11am and submitted a memorandum to Shiv Charan Shamra, the Labour Minister, Haryana who said he will arrange a meeting with the Chief Minister, Haryana on the 11th of July in Chandigarh.
9th July: Kurukshetra, Haryana where we took out a rally of hundreds of workers and sympathizers and submitted a memorandum to the DC.
10th July: Rewari, where we took out a rally from Tula Ram park to the DC office and submitted a memorandum to the SDM
11th July: Chandigarh where we took out a rally of hundreds of workers and progressive sections of society.
We have campaigned throughout in Gurgaon and Manesar with 20000 parchas distributed till now. On 8th July, we put up 1000 posters in IMT Manesar from 6-8.30am when the morning shift starts in most factories, and distributed pamphlets. The posters were later torn down, as we received reports, later in the day in by the police, and we have been receiving threat calls from the police and local CID against out proposed peaceful demonstration.
Solidarity programs are being held by workers and pro-worker sections and organizations across the country this month and leading up to 18th July: in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Bhilai and Kolkata.
Update on the situation in Court:
Application for bail of 9 of the 147 workers in Gurgaon Central Jail for last 1 year without bail was rejected by the P&H High Court on May 22nd with the argument, “foreign investors are not likely to invest money in India out of fear of labour unrest”
Application for bail of the 10 workers and activists in Kaithal Jail was heard on 20 June but no verdict was passed- date for filing of Charge-sheet in the case is 15th July.
Sessions Court, Gurgaon: Framing of charges-
6th July 2013: There was a hearing in the Sessions Court Gurgaon on 6th July 2013 on the framing of charges. State special PP, Adv. K.T.S. Tulsi and our Adv R.S. Hooda and Adv. Rajendra Pathak argued on the framing of charges. The arguments were centred on this-
The names of all witnesses and some statements (of Witness no. 15, 16, 89) have concealed from us in the Charge-sheet filed by the police and by the prosecution. Without the witness statements the preparation of the Defence becomes incomplete. This is baseless, and we demanded that this be revealed to us and these unnecessary delays in framing of charges be removed. The date for framing of charges will be let known to us on 10th, the court said.
The second point argued was on the medical examination of 13 workers in Jail, which was ordered by the Court earlier but was not carried out by the police- The court directed the DSP and Jailer to explain why the same was not carried out, failing which they will be charged with contempt of court.
10th July: The date for framing of charges has been set for 19th July 2013.
On 20/6, 21/6 and 24/6, a letter for permission and two reminders respectively were submitted to five parties: 1. District Commissioner, Gurgaon, 2. Police Commissioner Gurgaon, 3. Chief Secretary Haryana, 4. Chairman, Gurgaon Municipal Corporation and 5. M.D. Maruti Suzuki India Ltd with the clear argument that right to protest is our fundamental right, which is being suppressed for all workers in Gurgaon-Manesar.
We filed a Writ Petition on the same in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. In the hearing on 3rd July 2013, the state counsel did not oppose the permission, but asked the Police Commissioner Gurgaon to file if any objection within 14 days which has also not been submitted.
The right to Protest is our democratic guaranteed by the Indian Constitution which is being repressed or conspired to be denied to us. Our struggle earlier has been for the Freedom of Association for which the conspiracy of 18th July 2012 was hatched by the management of MSIL Manesar. Our voice is being crushed only because we have dared to raise it against the powerful nexus of anti-worker management and the government which we have seen in this period to act to serve corporate interests only.
Along with workers, ordinary toiling people, and villagers across Haryana have consistently supported us in our just demands and struggle. A display of it was the support of over 150 panchayats we received in our dharna in Kaithal on 8th May Mahapanchayat. Even in Manesar, we have the support of the larger section of its nearby villagers, contrary to reports which appeared in the media on 6th July scripted by the anti-worker forces. The local villagers have their sympathies with our struggle but it is only a few strong-men on the doles of the company who have misgivings against us. For those few who might have some misgivings about us, we want to reiterate that ours has been and will be a peaceful demonstration and hunger strike, countless examples of which we have given in the last one year. We raise issues which affect all sections of workers and local toiling population who are at the receiving end because of the policies of a management which only acts with its profit motive at the cost of thousands of lives.