India: labour rights defenders beaten, arrested during a strikeEvent
- Initial Date
- Jul 15, 2021
- Event Description
After a court battle, the workers were getting salaries even after the mill shut down. But on June 29, the company put up an order stating all the workers will have to take VRS and put a deadline of July 13.
The Dadar police Friday detained several unemployed mill workers of Century Yarn & Denim Mills in Madhya Pradesh along with social activist Medha Patkar, while they were protesting against the company at its headquarters in Worli.
The protestors were let off at night.
Over 50 people, including unemployed workers, had come from MP to take part in the protest.
“After a court battle, the workers were getting salaries even after the mill shut down. But on June 29, the company put up an order stating all the workers will have to take VRS and put a deadline of July 13. We want the company to give workers back their employment by reopening the mill,” Jagdish Khairaliya of Shramik Janta Sangh said.
Around 200 policemen from four different districts - Khargone, Khandwa, Burhanpur and Dhar - assembled at the protest site outside the factory premises. The SDM in-charge stated that Section 144 of the CrPC was in force in the area and the protestors had to leave and vacate the protest site immediately. The workers refused to leave the area. Then the police manhandled and roughed up workers, physically picking up each worker and pushing them into vehicles brought by them. When the police ran out of vehicles, private buses were organised to put protestors inside. Nearly 600 protestors were picked and transported out of which around 200 were just left on the road. Many women HRDs were injured, and one was even admitted by the police to the hospital where she was kept in the intensive care unit as she had fainted. The injuries were not only sustained during the police action but also due to the reckless driving of the drivers of the vehicles in which women were transported. In all 331 men were transported to ITI School in Kasrawad, where they were detained and let go at midnight. Around 70 women were transported to Saski Mahavidyalaya, where they were detained till 10 p.m.
The protest site and tents where workers had been camping for years were demolished and their belongings confiscated. The protestors have still not got their belongings despite a detailed list having been sent by the protestors to the SDM. It is crucial to note that the police personnel present at the protest site did not have name tags or badges on while acting against peaceful protestors. The protestors have not been provided a copy of the FIR, however they have learnt Section 151 of the Indian Penal Code has been invoked, carries a sentence for punishment of up to six months imprisonment, if five or more persons knowingly join or continue any assembly likely to cause a disturbance of the public peace, after such assembly has been lawfully commanded to disperse.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Other (e.g. undefined, organisation, community)
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Violence (physical)
- Wounds and Injuries
- Rights Concerned
- Labour rights
- Right to healthy and safe environment
- Right to liberty and security
- Right to Protest
- Labour rights defender
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 15 July 2021, around 600 workers including many WHRDs among whom Medha Patkar, were beaten by the police and arrested while staging a strike at the Century Yarn & Denim Mills in Khargone District, India.