Dehradun Update: 12 on hunger strike for last week; no response from government

Shankar Gopalakrishnan

The struggle for justice of the Rockman and Satyam Auto workers continues. Since last Sunday, 12 more workers from both factories have been on hunger strike at the Parade Grounds in Dehradun (and are now on their eighth day). A rally is going to be taken out by the workers shortly.

The original 11 hunger strikers, five of whom had been on hunger strike since April 6th and six from April 9th, and who had been forcibly hospitalised since April 15th, were discharged from hospital at the end of last week. They called off their hunger strike late last week after being severely beaten on the night of April 19th and forcibly put on drips (see photos here), tearing out the drips, and being threatened with further beatings. The workers decided on this after noting that further beatings would probably result in some of their comrades losing their lives.

The strike continues and has now crossed almost six weeks for the Rockman workers and five weeks for the Satyam Auto workers. There is no sign of any negotiation on the part of the government or the companies. No action has been taken against either the police for their brutality or the companies for their gross violations of labour law.

Nothing, not hunger strikes nor protests nor month-long strikes, is enough to move the conscience of the Central and State governments, wedded as they are to brutal exploitation of workers by any means possible. But the workers have refused to give up.

For background on the strike and struggle, see here. For more information please contact Amit, Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra (09568216305) and/or Trepan Singh Chauhan, Uttarakhand Nav Nirman Mazdoor Sangh (09411143539).

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