ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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'Seditious' Struggle for Rights?

'Seditious' Struggle for Rights?

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Two mine workers—Rabi Murmu and Abhimanyu Mahanta, of Sukinda chromite mining area, Jajpur district, Odisha—have been arrested under false charges of “sedition,” “riot,” “waging war against the state,” and various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Both of them were arrested on 12 June 2017 while opposing their illegal suspension from work, when they were uniting other workers to place their common demands before the management, and when both of them were questioning the silence of the existing trade ­unions on workers’ issues.

A four-member fact-finding team—Ganatantrik Adhikar Suraksha Sangathan, Odisha, of which this writer was a part—recently went to Kamarda chromite mining area of Sukinda, Jajpur district and met Murmu’s family and his associates. The team also met trade union leaders, journalists, defence lawyers and also visited the Jajpur sub-jail, where Murmu and Mahanta were confined. Murmu, a tribal youth of Balipada village, was working as a labour supervisor in B C Mohanty and Sons, a chromite mining leaseholder of the Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC). Mahanta, of Ragada village, was working as loading khatedar (record keeper) in South Kaliapani Chromite Mines, a lease­holder of the OMC. Both were members of the Sukinda Anchala Chromite Khadan Majdoor Sangha. The trade union was supported by the ruling Biju Janata Dal.

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Updated On : 26th Aug, 2021

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