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Misuse of law and falsely implicate Mrinal Kanti Shome for inciting protest

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Mrinal Kanti Shome

Trade Unionist 

Assam

Mr. Mrinal Kanti Shome is the General Secretary, Assam Majoori Shramik Union (AMSU). He is a retired school headmaster and who has been working to highlight the plight of tea garden workers and has been fighting for their rights since 2008. He has been at the forefront of protests by tea estate workers at the Dolu tea estate against the illegal acquisition of land for the new Silchar Airport, which will lead to the loss of employment for nearly 2,000 workers.  

Human Rights Defenders Alert issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission over the harassment and illegal detention of Mr. Shome. On May 22, 2022, around 3.30 police official came to Mr. Shome’s office and told him to come with them to the Superintendent of Police’s office. He was then questioned without any warrant or order and detained for nearly 30 hours. The police did not follow any protocols for detention or interrogation. Furthermore, they did not provide him any food during his detention period. Mr. Shome said that the SP threatened him that his son’s visa will be affected if he continued his activism and that his pension will also be stopped. He was released on May 23 without even being produced before a magistrate. 

On June 1, he was asked to appear at Sadar police station. When he went there, he was threatened by the DSP that he will be slapped with charges under the National Security Act if he continues his protest. 

Since the HRD was detained for nearly 30 hours without a formal arrest, we believe that the Silchar police abused their powers and that the concerned officials are liable for prosecution under Sections 339 and 341 (wrongful restraint), 340 and 342 (wrongful confinement). 

We urged the Hon’ble Commission to direct the Director General of Police of Assam to initiate an immediate, independent, thorough, transparent, effective and impartial investigation into repeated harassment, illegal arbitrarily detention and threats to labour rights activist Mr. Shome by the Silchar, Sadar police  and direct the Chief Secretary of Assam to provide compensation to Mr. Shome for the mental and physical torture and harassment he has undergone. 

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