NATIONAL PROTEST DAY OBSERVED IN NEW DELHI

OrissaMatters Bureau

New Delhi:

The national capital witnessed on August 01 demonstrations by trade unions as part of the national protest day against police brutality on industrial workers in Gurgaon on July 25.

A demonstration was held on Parliament Street with hundreds of workers, trade union leaders, activists and students showing solidarity with Gurgaon workers who faced unprecedented brutality from Haryana police while agitating against anti-worker policies of Honda Motors and Scooters India Pvt. Ltd, a Japanese MNC. The savage police action, happening right in front of media, had evoked nation-wide rage including strong criticism in both Houses of Parliament.

Addressing the procession, All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) leader Rameshwar Prasad termed that the Gurgaon incident as an �eye-opener� to the situation of workers� under the new economic regime. Emphasizing that a nation-wide movement against anti-worker policies is the need of the hour, Prasad said that MNC-State machinery nexus would have to face the fury of workers and peasants in the country if the latter�s rights are violated.

Coming under pressure, the Hooda government day before yesterday brokered a deal between the Honda management and agitating workers. While the company has agreed to take back all dismissed employees, trade unions say the deal is wrought with conditions potent enough to further harass the workers. On the other hand, the Hooda government has also refused to withdraw criminal cases against agitating workers, which include charges as serious as attempt to murder.

�The Honda-Hooda nexus brutalized workers in order to terrorise them from unionising,� said Tapan Sen, secretary of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). �But we want to make it clear that we will resort to all necessary means to claim our rights. Any government which connives with MNCs to suppress the working class shall have to face the consequences,� he warned.

R.K. Sharma from the United Trade Union Centre (UTUC), Lenin Sarani, also addressed the rally along with many youth and student leaders.

The president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students� Union, Ms. Mona Das, said the struggle was as much against anti-worker policies of MNCs as against pursuit of economic liberalization by governments which created conditions for exploitation of workers. �The people of this country will give a befitting reply to the designs of MNCs and repressive governments to curb the rights of workers, peasants and toiling masses, and no act of terror or repression shall go unchallenged,� she said.

Protests were reported from other parts of the city as well. All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) activists staged demonstrations in Okhla, Dilli Gate and Gurgaon, among others. Teachers and students in universities and colleges wore black badges as mark of protest against police atrocity on workers.

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