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CITU Condemns Repression of Striking ASHA Workers, Trade Union Leaders in Haryana

Detained leaders face inhumane conditions, ASHA workers show resilience in ongoing strike, says CITU.

New Delhi: In a strong condemnation of the ongoing actions taken by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government of Haryana, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has expressed its outrage at the repression and police brutality faced by striking ASHA workers and trade union leaders. The CITU has called for an immediate end to the authoritarian measures and demanded that the state government settle the ongoing indefinite strike through a bipartite dialogue.

The ASHA workers, who have been on a statewide indefinite strike since August 8, 2023, have faced severe repression from the Haryana government. The strike was initiated as a last resort after months of attempting to engage with the state government to address their legitimate demands, which had gone unanswered and unacknowledged. These demands pertain to their rights and working conditions.

The situation escalated when the ASHA workers and trade union leaders attempted to organise a peaceful demonstration before the State Assembly to highlight their concerns. However, the state authorities responded with a heavy-handed crackdown. The leaders, including Surekha, President of the ASHA Workers Union and CITU Haryana State Committee, Jaibhagwan, General Secretary of CITU Haryana State Committee, and Sunita, General Secretary of the ASHA Workers Union, were not only harassed and arrested but were also subjected to inhumane treatment.

Reports indicate that the detained leaders were prevented from accessing basic amenities such as drinking water and restroom facilities. The repression extended to the wider group of ASHA workers, with hundreds being arrested by the police in an attempt to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Even as these brutal actions continued, the ASHA workers stood firm and continued their strike in a display of unwavering determination.

CITU has made an urgent call to the BJP Government of Haryana, urging them to reconsider their stance and immediately intervene to resolve the ongoing strike. The organisation has also called upon the Chief Minister of Haryana and the state government to initiate democratic bipartite negotiations to address the concerns of the striking workers and trade union leaders.

The CITU has rallied support from the working class and its affiliated organisations to stand in solidarity with the ASHA workers of Haryana. The organisation has praised the resilience and unity demonstrated by the ASHA workers during this challenging time.

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