NCHRO Condemns Persecution of Workers Agitating for Wages in Haryana Factory

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NCHRO Condemns the arrest of activist Nodeep Kaur and the crackdown on workers in the Kundli industrial area of Sonipat in Haryana. — Internet photo

Fact-Finding report demands immediate release of Activist Nodeep Kaur

Press Release

NEW DELHI — The National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO) has condemned the arrest of activist Nodeep Kaur and the crackdown on workers in the Kundli industrial area of Sonipat in Haryana. A fact-finding team constituted by the NCHRO has raised alarm over anti-worker attitude of the factory-owners in Kundli. It points to a nexus of the police, the factory-owners, and the goons who endangered the lives of the protesters.

The NCHRO stands in solidarity with Nodeep Kaur and the workers protesting for their rights, and demands that the wages be paid to the workers and Nodeep Kaur be released immediately, and that prompt action be taken against both the police officials who have assaulted Nodeep Kaur as well as the KIA members who endangered the lives of workers.

Nodeep Kaur was among the protestors who were demanding their due wages from the factories in which they were working. The workers in their protest were joined by the Majdoor Adhikar Sangathan (MAS), of which Nodeep Kaur is a member. There had been previous protests in the preceding weeks regarding the same issue, as many of the workers in the area have not got their wages that have been due since months. There are many other violations taking place at the area, and any attempt at holding the people accountable or demanding one’s rightful wages is responded with either a disdainful refusal to comply or outright violence.

During one such protest on January 12, 2021, Kaur was picked up and manhandled by policemen with no women police personnel involved. She was also assaulted while in the custody she sustained injuries on her private parts, amounting to sexual violence.

As for the violence meted out to the workers generally, it is done so by the members of Kundli Industrial Association, an organisation that claims to work against the “inciteful protests”, as was stated by the General Secretary of KIA to a media outlet. KIA in essence works to intimidate the workers and prevent any attempt by the workers of demanding their wages and rights. On one occasion, the KIA members even fired a bullet during a protest in the area for the workers’ wages.

The fact-finding team was constituted on 14 January. It consisted of the coordinator of NCHRO, Ishu Jaiswal; Bhagat Singh Chhatra Ekta Manch member, Ravinder Singh; Democratic Students’ Union member Sujeet Kumar; Bekhaur Azaadi member Arpan Majnik; and an independent student activist, Likhita – was made. The team visited the area on January 15 and 16.

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