800 Workers of the Century Yarn and Century Denim,
HRDA has issued an urgent appeal to the National Human Rights Commission of India on September 14, 2021, regarding the brutal police action against nearly 800 workers protesting peacefully.
800 workers of Century Yarn and Century Denim Mills from Madhya Pradesh started protesting against the closure of the plant in October 2017 as they didn’t agree with the terms of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme. The workers went on an indefinite hunger strike from July 12, 2021, outside the factory premises. On August 3, 2021, the local SDM declared the imposition of section 144 at the protest site and asked the workers to vacate the place immediately. Around 200 policemen came to the protest site and manhandled the protesting workers and forcibly lifted and pushed them into vehicles brought by them. Many of the protestors got injured during the process. They were let go around midnight.
Neither the police personnel who were present at the protest site had the name tags or badges on while taking an action against peaceful protestors nor did they provide the FIR copy to the protestors/workers.
The use of force by police was a reprisal against peaceful protestors which is a complete violation of the right to peaceful assembly guaranteed under Article 19(b) of the Indian Constitution. Also, the Human Rights Council resolution 15/21 adopted in October 2010 reaffirms that everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly without restrictions that is subject only to the limitations permitted by international law, international human rights law.