Uttar Pradesh – Workers returning from May Day rally in Delhi attacked by hired goons of factory owners

May 3, 2011

Source – Bigul Akhbar

Workers of Ankur Udyog Ltd., a factory in the Bargadwa industrial area in Gorakhpur, eastern UP in India, were attacked by goons called by the factory owner this morning (3 May). At least 20 workers have been seriously injured in firing by the goons.

A notorious criminal Pradeep Singh who has several cases of murder against him was hired by the factory owners with full complicity of the district civil and police administration. The workers had laid siege to the factory and were not allowing the goons to escape. Police force had reached at the spot and were standing near the factory gates but refused to act and register FIR. After several hours they entered the premises of the factory and arrested the attackers but it was only a ploy to let them escape. The police took the criminals with them in their van and let them escape after going some way from the factory.

The industrialists had been using various tactics to prevent the workers from participating in the May Day rally in Delhi under the Workers’ Charter Movement. About a dozen workers were arrested in false cases and a factory VN Dyers Ltd was even locked out. But the workers responded by going in large numbers for the rally. About 2000 workers from Gorakhpur took part in the May Day demonstration in Delhi. This has further infuriated the factory owners and their political backers who are trying to teach the workers a lesson.

So far 18 injured workers have been admitted in the district hospital. Their names are:
1. Vinod Singh s/o Ramsarup Singh; 2. Virendra Yadav s/o Matilal Yadav; 3. Indradev s/o Bilas Das; 4. Amit Kumar s/o Bhure; 5. Ramanand Sahni s/o Shitla Prasad; 6. Shailesh Kumar s/o Ramashray and 7. Pappu Jaiswal, 8. Ramjanam Bharti s/o Gullu Bharti, 9. Vinod Srivasatav s/o Tej Narayan, 10. Devendra Yadav s/o Vijay Nath, 11. Vinod Dubey s/o Kedarnath, 12. Dhruv Singh s/o Ramroop Singh , 13. Sriniwas Chauhan s/o Bachcha Chauahan, 14. Sandeep Mehta s/o Babulal Singh, 15. Rajesh Gupta s/o Lakshmi kant, 16. Krishna Kumar s/o Ramkishor, 17. Shiv kumar s/o Girja Rai, 18. Devesh Singh s/o Bhavanand Singh

This is evidently a well-planned attacked by the industrialists. A campaign of lies was launched in the media a few days before saying that the workers agitating for their basic rights are instigated by “Maoists” from outside. It may be recalled that this same canard was spread exactly 2 years before when thousands of workers from 7 factories in Bargadwa had started an organized movement on their demands. The factory owners are openly backed by the BJP MP from Gorakhpur Yogi Adityanath who has been consistently opposing the workers movement and issuing statements calling their leaders “Maoists bent upon spreading violence” and saying that the movement is “funded by the church”.

The administration is brazenly siding with the factory owners. The commissioner of Gorakhpur issued a statement 5 days before that “outside elements instigating the workers will not be spared and the police will take strictest action against them.” This statement came immediately after the meeting of industrialists having units in the GIDA (Gorakhpur Industrial Development Authority) area which called for the same. They even named three prominent activists Tapish Maindola, Pramod Kumar and Prashant as “Maoists” and called for action against them. These three were also arrested in 2009 and were released after a massive protest in Gorakhpur which almost paralysed administration work in Gorakhpur district magistrate’s office for 4 days.

Some friends from the media have warned that the administration is planning to implicate the labour leaders and active workers in the violence and slap serious cases against them to remove them from the scene so that the movement can be crushed.

We appeal to all of you to immediately put pressure on the state and district administration to arrest the factory owner and his goons and prevent them from falsely implicating the labour leaders.