Jammu Tawi, J&K, 16th May, 2020 : Prof. Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of J&K National Panthers Party & Executive Chairman of State Legal Aid Committee expressed surprise on the interim order issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India dated 15th May, 2020 staying MHA order that employers won’t be prosecuted for non-payment of wages during lockdown. The Union Government/Ministry of Home had issued direction/order directing all private enterprises to continue payment of full salaries for the duration of the lockdown. Almost all mills/industrial units were shutdown because of the situation that had arisen in the whole country. The Ministry of Home Affairs had on March 29 issued a circular directing all private enterprises to continue payment of full salaries for the duration of the lockdown. The order had also warned of legal consequences if the directions for payment of full salaries were not complied with.
Thousands of daily/temporary workers from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Dwarka to Manipur who were working in rest of the country as temporary wagers/workers also thrown out of their work. Thousands of such wagers from Jammu & Kashmir were locked in other States. The media and the political activists raised this voice and are still fighting to ensure safe return of all such workers/labourers from Jammu & Kashmir who have lost their jobs and have no social security. Hundreds of them are still without work/without food/and without any assistance. The most of them have been ringing Panthers Party from different corners of the country. The Party has also urged all political parties to take a joint initiative for the safe return of all workers/students etc to the homes from the stations where they have been locked for more than two weeks.
Prof. Bhim Singh expressed unhappiness on the direction of the Supreme Court of India on writ petition of the employers (mill owners) staying Home Ministry circular that has directing private firms to continue payment of full salaries during lockdown. This order was made on 15th May, 2020.
The Supreme Court while staying the MHA order dated 29th March directed the Union Government that hundreds of crores of unclaimed provident fund and Employees State Insurance Corporation contribution lie in banks that could be used by the government rather than putting burden on the private sector.
Prof. Bhim Singh while addressing a press conference at NPP Headquarters, Jammu urged Govt. of India to provide appropriate facilities/transport to all those workers/labourers who have lost their jobs anywhere in the country so that they shall return safe and secure to their homes.
NPP Supremo expressed shock that the workers from Tamilnadu were still locked in a factory complex in Jammu where they were working for months. Only yesterday they dared walk from Jammu to Tamilnadu on foot. Nine of them met Panthers Party leaders including Prof. Bhim Singh at the road side near Bari-Brahmana and they told the sad story. For days they got no food, they had no proper place to stay. About 20 of them were locked in a small room near Sainik Colony. Ms. Anita Thakur, General Secretary of NPP met them on the road and informed the NPP office. Prof. Bhim Singh rushed to Bari-Brahmana, arranged some little money so that they could buy some food. A truck driver was pleased to provide them to lift upto Pathankot. What happened to them after no one knows. This is the situation which outside labourers is facing in the others States where they have lost jobs and have no shelter/no food/no medicines.
Similar was the situation of the workers who talked to Panthers Party Chief Patron from Tamilnadu, Pune, Jaipur and other places. This is the situation of the stranded labourers who have not been provided any assistance/food/transportation by the Government of India or local Administration everywhere in the country.
Prof. Bhim Singh strongly urged the President of India for his intervention to provide adequate/reasonable/safe transportation for all the stranded labourers/workers/students back to their homes from the Stations where they are held up/locked unattended. The NPP Supremo is sending a writ petition to the Supreme Court of India (Online) in this regard for the security/safety and safe return of all stranded workers back to their homes from the areas they stand locked up or they have started walking on foot. The Panthers Party also expressed shock on the road side deaths of several workers or stranded labourers who were walking back to their homes. This included one Rinku from Ramnagar village Twedi who was killed last week on the road side. He also felt shock on the reported accidental deaths of nearly 30 stranded labourers who were walking back to their homes from one state to the other.