Legal help sought for migrants arrested from Kizhakkambalam

New Trade Union Initiative and Progressive Workers’ Organisation have alleged that the authorities failed to ensure the legal rights and social protection norms of the nearly 174 persons arrested in connection with the clashes between migrant workers engaged by Kitex Garments and the police on December 25 night.

The representatives of the unions demanded immediate steps on the part of the government and the company management to provide legal help to the arrested, who belonged to States that include Jharkhand, Odisha, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, West Bengal and Assam.

“We request the intervention of the government, State Human Rights Commission and the Legal Services Authority as they have been languishing in jail for the last one month after being charged under non-bailable offences,” said M. Sreekumar, president of New Trade Union Initiative, and George Mathew, chairperson of Progressive Workers’ Organisation.

The trade union representatives admitted that the untoward incidents should not have taken place on December 25, but recalled that the authorities had failed to gauge the reasons behind the protests and anger shown by the migrant workers. “The workers have been living under deplorable conditions and denied even basic human rights for long,” they alleged.

Mr. Mathew said the majority of the arrested belonged to Adivasi and economically-backward communities in places like Jharkhand. “The authorities should take the initiative to share the details of those arrested with their family members and the State governments concerned,” he said.

According to the remand report, the accused allegedly set afire a police vehicle, wireless set, vandalised a control room vehicle, wireless set, and vandalised another vehicle of the Edathala police. Among the charges invoked in the First Information Report were Indian Penal Code Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty and 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon).

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2022 6:11:27 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/legal-help-sought-for-migrants-arrested-from-kizhakkambalam/article38359949.ece