March 13, 2022

CITU Condemns Police Repression on Anganwadi Workers & Helpers

THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) issued a statement on March 3, condemning the repression let loose by the BJP government of Haryana against the anganwadi workers and helpers who have been on strike since December 8, 2021.

The Khattar government let loose repression on the striking anganwadi workers and helpers who had given a call for ‘march to assembly’, on March 3, 2022, which was the 85th day of their strike. The CITU said that the Haryana police under the dictates of the state chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar intimidated and harassed the striking workers. The police, a day before the call for march to the assembly, on March 2, started arresting the anganwadi workers and helpers and even their families were not spared. The family members were also participating in the march to the state vidhan sabha in Chandigarh.

The government officials pressurised the vehicle owners to cancel the booking of vehicles made by the anganwadi workers for reaching the state capital. The state officials were asked to ensure that the anganwadi workers and helpers are not allowed travelling in-state public transport buses.

On March 3, hundreds of vehicles with anganwadi workers were stopped at various places. They were arrested and detained at various places. A R Sindhu and Usha Rani, general secretary and president of All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers (AIFAWAH) respectively, were arrested at Barwala Toll Gate while leading the demonstration.  

The CITU said that despite all forms of intimidating tactics, the state government and its machinery could not deter the anganwadi workers and helpers from reaching the state capital.

The CITU stated that instead of having negotiations with the striking frontline workers and their unions who had rendered excellent services during the height of the Covid pandemic risking their own lives, the government unleashed repression on them. The state government has also shamelessly invoked ESMA against them.

The agitating workers continued their struggle by blockading the roads including highways at many places in Zirakpur, Yamunanagar, Panchkula Road, Panipat Toll Plaza, Barwala etc.

CITU, while congratulating the brave anganwadi workers and helpers of Haryana for their valiant struggles, asked the state government to stop the repression and release all workers and leaders immediately and hold talks with them to resolve the impasse.