Himachal Pradesh CPI(M) on Kinnuar Protest

Shongtong Karcham row: Section 144 being misused to suppress protesting workers demanding due wages?

SHIMLA- The Himachal Pradesh state committee of CPI(M) on Saturday demanded withdrawal of prohibitory orders imposed by Kinnaur District Magistrate against striking workers.

In a memorandum submitted to Chief Secretary, P Mitra, the CPI (M) state Committee members Rakesh Singha and Kuldeep Singh Tanwar demanded immediate withdrawal of Section 144 of Cr PC imposed by District Magistrate, Kinnaur.

According to the allegation, the Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation is constructing the Shongtong Karcham Hydro Project. Several sub-contractors engaged in the construction of the project namely Raj Gopal, Lichan, Raja Construction have not paid wages to large numbers of their workers since last two months and Lichen Construction has not made the legally paid wages to its worker since the last three months.

The allegation further said that the District Magistrate of Kinnaur instead of directing the Principal employer of implementing the law has arbitrarily promulgated an order under Section 144 of CrPC. The order has been made without application of mind, and recording of the facts while making the impugned order.

As per the committee, the order does not qualify the legal requirement and has been made with the intention of bringing advantage to those who are violating the labour laws and depriving the workers of their right of life and liberty as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

They also pointed out that contents of the order reveal that a para of it has been copied from an earlier order made during the dispute between JP management and its workers.

The committee has demanded that Section 144 needs to be revoked immediately and the management needs to be directed to make the due payments of the workers apart from settling the other issues of the dispute.

Image Credit: File Photo/TNS

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