CPI (M) Condemns Police Crackdown on Chenani-Nasari Project Workers

KL Report

SRINAGAR

Stating that the right to organize peaceful protests is an inalienable right of the people in a democratic polity, State Secretary CPI (M) Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami Friday appealed all the political parties and trade unions irrespective of their affiliations to rise to the occasion against denial of democratic rights in the state.

Addressing a press conference at Jammu, Tarigami condemning the police crackdown against workers of Chenani-Nasari four-lane road & tunnel project in Jammu region. He said the way right to peaceful protests is being stifled; it will only encourage the emergence of autocratic and violent forces in the society. He demanded immediate release of workers who have been detained by police in false and frivolous cases.

The CPI (M) leader observed that democratic process should not be misconstrued only with the electioneering process but the same means protection of constitutional guarantees of democratic rights which include civil liberties and right to protest as well.

Tarigami said the management of the project should carry the workers along and not to take them at a ride. “The management should listen to them, talk to them; engage them allow them to protest and accommodate their long pending demands,” he remarked.

According to a  statement issued to KNS, Tarigami has said, “It is unfortunate that during the recently concluded autumn session of legislative assembly in Srinagar, the employees were protesting outside the assembly premises in favour of their long pending demands. “It was only after the state government was compelled by us to issue a statement which was done half heartedly.”

The CPI (M) leader stressed upon the government to avoid confrontation and find out an amicable solution to the issues through negotiations with the representatives of workers unions and associations. “The long pending genuine demands of the Chenani-Nasari workers should be given a patient hearing by the management and an amicable solution should be reached at which can end this stalemate,” the CPI (M) leader demanded.

The CPI (M) state secretary lamented that the workers at Chenani-Nasari tunnel-road project are not being paid even minimum wages, not covered under benefits of Employees Provident Fund Act, not being paid their allowances for overtime and there is no sufficient safety mechanism available to them.

 “The House Committee on Environment had visited the project spot but found the working conditions of these workers deplorable. There are no sufficient protection or safety measures available to the workers who are supposed to work under hazardous conditions,”   Tarigami observed, according to a statement.

The CPI (M) leader demanded that the workers who have been terminated by the Leighton Company should be reinstated without any further delay and they shall also be provided facilities under Labour Act.

He said the workers demand for classification and categorization on the basis of their skills and the nature of jobs should be accepted by the company.

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