[Mazdoor Sangathan Samiti, a workers union in Jharkhand, has recently been outlawed by the Jharkhand government by declaring it as a Maoist front. The MSS, is an old workers’ union, set up by the well known lawyer and labour activist from Dhanbad, Satyanarayan Bhattacharya, in the 1980-s, engaged in organizing the workers in various industries in the state. -Ed]

MSS statement

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SFC statement on banning of MSS

SFC opposes the fascist attack by BJP government on Majdoor Sangathan Samiti (MSS, Jharkhand) and demands the immediate withdrawal of ban and all the false cases over its members

The present BJP government of Jharkhand has banned the Majdoor Sangathan Samiti (MSS, Jharkhand) under Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908 (CLAA). This clearly is a case of using power unconstitutionally and unlawfully by the government as MSS has been working for the rights of tribals and workers for over three decades and is a registered Trade Union. This raises serious questions over the imposition of such laws which is being used to violate the basic constitutional rights of tribals and workers by the government. The ban was imposed on the grounds that the organization had invited Vara Vara Rao, a renowned Telegu poet, to a meeting celebrating 100 years of great Russian revolution. For this, the organization was accused of being a Frontal Organization of CPI (Maoist) and linked with the Naxalites. But the hidden agenda was to stop the ongoing protest by MSS over issues like that of Motilal Baske fake encounter and the “Momentum Jharkhand”. Motilal Baske, a worker was shot dead in a fake encounter on the ground that he was a Naxalite which created a large protest against the ongoing government. On other hand, schemes like “Momentum Jharkhand” allowed industrialists and various companies to deprive the natives of their natural resources in the name of development.

So far, we have seen in many cases that whenever any individual or group tries to fight for the rights of workers and tribals and against big industrialists and landlords who oppress them, the government comes up terming them Naxalites and justifies their actions against them. The term Naxalite is used by the government with the help of media throughout a long period of time to project any organisation as a terrorist organisation and hence whenever it is used, even the most unlawful activities of the government are simply ignored by majority of citizens of India. Does talking about workers, peasants and tribal and demanding or fighting for their rights wrong? And most important, why is government so scared with them? The answer is very much clear and shows that the government always takes side of their benefactors, the industrialists, businessmen etc against all the working society, the peasants, the workers, the tribals etc. And hence it becomes very important to understand that over which side we are present? Being a student, we can be advised by many to stay away from this matter or rather stay away from this whole politics. But we need to understand how these matters affects us directly or indirectly.

Hence, SFC appeal all the students, workers, intellectuals and citizens of the country to get aware and unite to fight against the ban on MSS.

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IFTU CONDEMNS THE IMPOSITION OF BAN ON MAZDOOR SANGHATAN SAMITHI

INDIAN FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS (IFTU)
National Committee
Office: Marx Bhavan,7th Line Vidyanagar, Hyderabad, Telangana

The National Committee of IFTU strongly condemns the ban on Mazdoor Sanghatan Samithi (MSS) by the Jharkand government on the grounds that it is helping the Maoists, that it has called Varavara Rao to address a meeting and that it is imposing levies et al.

The MSS is a trade union organization engaged in organizing the workers in various industries in the state of Jharkand. It is a leading trade union fighting for the realization of the legitimate demands of the workers. A legal and open workers organization as the MSS cannot be dubbed as a frontal organization of the Maoists and impose a ban on it merely because Varavara Rao was called to address a meeting. This is very strange as Varavara Rao has been addressing meetings in many states and nothing like banning the organizations that invited him has happened.

As a registered trade union it has the right to receive subscription fee from its member workers and contributions from various sections of society for conducting its activities. Therefore the basis on which the Jharkand government imposed the ban is utterly false and motivated to favour the managements against whom the workers are fighting under the leadership of MSS. MSS cannot be punished by way of a ban merely for airing its views on the policies of the government. Suppression of normal democratic activity by the government amounts to curtailing civil rights of the people.

The IFTU demands the immediate revocation of the ban on MSS and calls upon all democracy-loving people to voice their protest against the ban.

President: Aparna
General Secretary: Pradeep

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JOINT PLATFORM OF COAL CONTRACT WORKERS UNIONS(JPCCWU)
                                  (All ECLCWEU,ECLTSAU,ECLCSU,SCCWU,NTUI,MSS,IFTU,NDLF)                                       

Press Release

JPCCWU QUESTIONS THE IMPOSITION OF BAN ON MSS
DEMANDS ITS WITHDRAWAL

The Joint Platform of Coal Contract Workers Unions(JPCCWU) expresses its serious concern over the imposition of ban on Mazdoor Sanghatan Samithi(MSS) by the Government of Jharkand on grounds that are false and flimsy and cannot stand legal scrutiny. The MSS in Jharkand has a long history as a trade union organization engaged in the fight for defending the rights of the workers, particularly of the workers in the unorganized sector and the contract workers. The ban of a legal,registered trade union like the MSS is motivated and cannot be justified on the grounds the state government has manufactured.

The MSS, which is a constituent of the joint platform, is one of the trade union centres in the state that has a large membership of workers and the instant ban on it would obviously affect their legitimate rights. By banning a trade union organization, the state government has proved its bias in favour of the managements and appears to have acted at the instance of those forces that hold the economic reins in the state. It is an attack on the rights of the working class and on the freedom of association guaranteed by the Constitution. The JPCCWU strongly condemns this undemocratic act of the government of Jharkand and demands the withdrawal of the ban orders on the MSS. It calls upon the working class at large to voice their protest against the ban intended to stifle its voice.

Dugai Murmu
President,ECLTSAU

Somnath Chatterji
General Secretary,All ECLWEU

Shailen Bhattacharya
General Secretary,ECLCSU

A.Venkanna
President,SCCWU

Thangaraj
General Secretary,NDLF

Pradeep
General Secretary,IFTU

Gautam Mody
General Secretary,NTUI

 

PRESS RELEASE
28 December 2017,
Press Club of India, New delhi-1
We the undersigned, condemn (i) the illegal, unconstitutional and arbitrary ban under Section 16 of the draconianIndian Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908 (CLAA)on MajdoorSangathanSamiti (MSS), a 30 year old registered Trade Union, and (ii) the false cases impugned under Section 17 of CLAA against 10 office bearers of the MSS, by the Jharkhand government.The ban and FIR have been imposed/charged on the grounds that the organization invited VaraVara Rao, a renowned Telgu poet, to a meeting celebrating 100 years of the Great Russian Revolution.
MSS was founded in 1985 by Advocate Satya Naryana Bhattacharya and now has 22,000 members. Registered in the year 1989, and its registration number is 3113/89, since then it has been engaged in organizing workers in various industries in the state of Jharkhand, especially Giridhi, Bhokaro and Dhanbad. The organization is working amongst the coal mine workers, thermal power plant workers, unorganized workers (Doli Mazdoor, who they have been organising since 1995) of Shikharji (Jain pilgrimage site), agriculture workers, and fighting for the realization of the legitimate demands of these workers. The organization has also constructed a hospital at Madhuban, Giridhi for free medical assistance of poor and the workers. The organization publishes a monthly newspaper, named ‘Majdoor ka Ahawaan’.It has,in the past throughseminars and peaceful rallies struggled for the realizations of workers’ rights and it should be noted that there have been no cases of inciting violence or disruption against the organization in all these 30 years.
The ongoing mobilization and organization of doliwallahs of Shikharji, coal miners, movement against the privatization of state industries, against the displacement of Adivasis in the name of development,and the demand for judicial inquiry in murder of Motilalhas irked the State against  MSS. Most importantly, the organisation has been banned on irrelevant grounds for inviting revolutionary poet VarVar Rao and there are no cases against him in the court of law. It is not against the law for an organisation to invite a speaker for an event who happens to be a renowned poet. Additionally, the charges against the members of the MSS have been levied for apparently illegally collecting funds. It should be noted that it is not in contravention of any law of the land for a registered trade union to collect funds and subscription money for their legally registered organisation.
The ban is completely illegal as it is against the principles of natural justice since no opportunity to be heard was given to the organization before the imposition of the ban. Moreover, the registration of a registered trade union under law can only be cancelled by the Registrar, Trade Unions, with prior notice of not less than 2 months. The imposition of the ban is a violation of the constitutionally guaranteed right to form association,which is an essential feature of the fundamental right for freedom of speech and expression, enshrined under Article 19 of the Constitution of India.
This press conference is addressed different trade union leaders, human right organisations and its representatives. APARNA, NATIONAL PRESIDENT, IFTU, condemned the ban being illegal, unconstitutional and arbitrary and said, “MSS is a regular registered trade union . MSS and IFTU was leading the process is in forming united front of coal workers in Jharkhand, and an international conference  of coal mining workers  was conducted  in January, 2017. The trend of banning trade union is very dangerous trend. This ban is a big onslaught on trade union movement and its constitutionally guaranteed right to form association. The Collection of funds & donation, celebrating Russian revolution, printing literature being ground of ban are pure flimsy without any legal grounding.” ASHOK CHOUDHARY, New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI), that the ban should be seen in the context of ongoing onslaught on Adivasis in the name of development, he said “ Worker organisation has always been conflicts with corporates. All  have right to organise, it is the first time in the history that a registered trade union has been banned under draconian and colonial Criminal Amendment Act, 1908. This act of surpassing the Constitution of India and Trade Unions Act, reflects intention of Indian state to crush all democratic struggles. We should launch a nationwide resistance movement against the ban and should stand in solidarity with MSS.”
JAIGOBIND, MAZDOOR EKATA MANCH; SHYAMBEER, IMK; GOPAL MISHRA, INQUILABI MAZDOOR SANGATHAN; ROMA,  ALL INDIA UNION OF FOREST WORKING PEOPLE (AIUFWP); RUSTAM ALI (MAZDOOR ADHIKAR SANGATHAN); AND ADV. ANKIT, PEOPLE’S UNION OF CIVIL RIGHTS, HARYANA, ALSO ADDRESSED THE MEDIA AND GATHERING.
Given this arbitrary ban and impugning of false cases against the members of MSS, under flimsy grounds, without any justification:
(i) We demand the revocation/withdrawal of the illegal ban imposed on the Majdoor Sangathan Samiti; and
(ii) On 23 Dec in Madhuban, Girdih three committee members of MASS branch in Madhuban were arrested – Ajay Hembrum, Mohan Murmu and Daya Chand Hembrum. FIR no. 28/17 , under sections 17CLA act, 13 UAC and others charges [as reported in media]. We demand the withdrawal of the false cases against all the office bearers of Majdoor Sangathan Samiti.
We call upon all democratic and progressive organisation to mobilize and resist this fascist attack on the MajdoorSangathanSamiti and oppose the charges under   the draconian Indian Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1908.
RELEASED & SIGNED BY:-
ANJANI KUMAR & JAIGOVIND, MAJDOOR EKTA MANCH, DELHI
ADV. ANKIT GREWAL & ADV. PANKAJ TYAGI, PUCR, HARYANA.
JAIGOBIND, MAZDOOR EKATA MANCH
SHYAMBEER, INQLABI MAJDOOR KENDRA;
GOPAL MISHRA, INQUILABI MAZDOOR SANGATHAN;
ROMA,  ALL INDIA UNION OF FOREST WORKING PEOPLE (AIUFWP);
RUSTAM ALI (MAZDOOR ADHIKAR SANGATHAN);
For further clarification:-
Anjani Kumar (+91-9910972924) & Adv. Pankaj Tyagi (+91-9812296194)