Tag Archives: Delhi NCR

WSS Statement on the violence of Domestic Worker and State Repression on workers.

WSS Statement on the violence of Domestic Worker and State Repression on workers.

We condemn the forceful confinement and brutal abuse of Domestic worker Zohra Bibi at Mahagun Modern Society, Sector 78, NOIDA and the subsequent repression by the police and Central Culture Minister of other workers.

On 11th July 2017, Zohra Bibi, aged 27, a domestic worker, native of village Maidan, Dinhate, Cooch Behar AR West Bengal 736134, went missing according to her family members. Zohra worked as a domestic worker in 7 residences of Mahagun Modern Society, Sector 78 Noida and usually returned to her family of husband and four children residing in Sector 78 Noida, between 6:30 and 7:00 pm daily. As Zohra did not return home, Abdul Satter, her husband, went to the society at around 8.00 pm and enquired with the guards, who claimed she had eloped with a man, although the register of visitors clearly showed that while her entry was marked, no exit was recorded. He then went to the alleged accused employers residence Harshul Sethi R/O 012, who told Abdul that Zohra is accused of the theft of Rs 17000, and claimed to know nothing of her whereabouts. Abdul immediately dialed 100 and the police spoke to the Sethis and reiterated the possibility that his wife had eloped with another man and that he should come to the police station to file a missing complaint. Abdul was handed a blank sheet of paper when he reached the police station and told to return the next morning. On the contrary, on the 11th of July Zohra had gone to Sethis’ house to ask for her salary that had not been paid for two months. When she insisted she be paid, she was accused of theft by the Sethis and then she was brutally beaten by Harshul Sethi. Her phone was also confiscated by the family.

On 12th morning, Abdul, some relatives and neighbours around 30 to 40 from the neighbouring slums, reached the gates of the society to enquire about Zohras whereabouts again. The beat constable stationed in front of the society, as well as the guards of the society fired three rounds in air, which further agitated the crowd of people and then, they tried to barge in through the gates. Roughly 40 police and guards clashed with the domestic workers. During the melee one guard came out and said that Zohra was found and soon, Zohra was seen dragged by two guards. Her clothes were torn, she was semi conscious and Abdul was asked to take her home. Abdul refused to take Zohra home in the state she was in. The police intervened and took her to Ambedkar Government Hospital where an MLC was done. The police claimed in front of the media that she did not suffer any injuries.

After the MLC, Zohra and Abdul went to the police station in sector 49 NOIDA to file an FIR against the Sethi family on 12 th July 2017 at 8:30 am. The FIR registered merely mentions that she was forcefully detained by the Sethis beyond normal working hours. Some 3 hours after this, three more FIRs were filed in the same police station, first by the Sethis charging them with theft, second by members of the Society and third by the Mahagun Society builders. On the basis of the FIR filed by the Sethis, the police raided the slum colonies (bastis) where the domestic workers live and detained 58 men, including Zohras 15 year old son and kept them in the police station till late at night. 13 men were arrested and sent to judicial remand to Dasna Jail under section 307 and the rest were sent back home after a prolonged detention.

Mahagun Society members have been making claims that the majority of domestic workers are Bangladeshi immigrants, primarily Muslim, and who are illegally working in India. RWA of the Mahagun society have begun creating a blacklist of domestic workers (147 persons) and scheming for ways to reduce the wages of the workers. We need to recognise the conditions of labour these domestic workers have endured, the attitude of the residents, the political provocation by Mahesh Sharma MP of NOIDA who is also the Minister of State for Tourism and Culture, GOI, who has dismissed the complaints against the Sethis, the corruption and complicity of the police force and the power of prominent builders like Amit Jain in scuttling such issues through the use of brute force and threats. Also lack of legal mechanisms has led to severe exploitation of women and children which include depriving domestic workers of their entire salary for months, work hours more then 16-18 hours per day, absence of proper food and living/sleeping condition, forced and total cut off from their family members, bonded labour, sexual exploitation by placement agents during transit, at the office of the agency and at the work place in houses of employers. In the data released by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in February 2014, there were 3,564 cases of alleged violence against domestic workers reported in 2012, up from 3,517 in 2011 and 3,422 in 2010. While several legislations such as the Unorganized Workers Social Security Act, 2008, Sexual Harassment against Women at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act, 2013 and Minimum Wages Schedules notified in various states refer to domestic workers, there remains an absence of comprehensive, uniformly applicable, national legislation that guarantees fair terms of employment and decent working conditions. Meanwhile only a unionised, united domestic workers force can face the crude brutality they face at the hands of the residents.

We condemn unequivocally this unravelling communal, anti-worker, anti-woman, anti-Muslim politically vitiated climate.

We Demand

  1. Action against the Sethis for illegally detaining, brutally assaulting and falsely accusing an employee while failing to pay her wages.

  2. Charges against 13 detained people as well as against Zohra and Abdul be dropped immediately and to release them unconditionally.

  3. Action against the police for its refusal to act on the FIR filed by Zohra and Abdul, their abuse of power in detaining 58 persons including minors, and complicity with the builders and the political establishment in communalising the case.

  4. Action against the Mahagun builders Amit Jain for their complicity in covering up this clear case of violence against a woman belonging to the minority community.

  5. Action against Minister of State for Tourism and Culture, GOI & NOIDA MP Mahesh Sharma for further vitiating the environment by making provocative and inflammatory speeches in the society meetings.

  6. Workers in the Mahagun Society complex be paid their due wages, withdraw the list of blacklisted workers, and ensure the safety and security of the workers in the residential complexes and also in their residences.

Bittu, Nisha, Ranjana, Rinchin & Kalyani

WSS Coordinators

July 26, 2017

Contact Fact Finding team: Ajita

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A Report of the WSS National Seminar Resisting Caste and Patriarchy: Building Alliances

December 10 and 11, 2015 New Delhi

The inspiration for the seminar “Resisting Caste and Patriarchy : Building Alliances” came from an initiative that started in 2013-2014, when members of WSS made a series of visits to villages in several districts of Haryana to investigate reports of sexual assaults and killings of Dalit girls. The team met and interviewed many of the survivors and their families. Intensive discussions with a team of young Dalit lawyers and activists provided additional insights into the situation. In the course of internal discussions that followed, members of WSS tried to articulate the gaps and grey areas in feminist debates on caste and patriarchy, and draw on lessons from the histories of engagement with questions of caste and gender by and within different mass movements and women’s movements.

Seminar report at WSS Seminar Resisting Caste and Patriarchy 10-11th Dec 2015 Final Report

resisting caste and patriarchy

It was obvious that the disappearance of “annihilation of caste” from the agenda of contemporary movements was an inevitable consequence of the marginalisation of Dalit women in political struggles and social processes. Thus, complex issues arising from Dalit women’s labour in various relations of production have been reduced to the question of choice or coercion in sex work, with little exploration of the ways in which caste, class and patriarchy have worked together to exploit and stigmatise dalit women across the spectrum of work and labour relations.

Progressive groups and social movements across the spectrum are struggling with uncertainty and lack of clarity on advancing the agenda of annihilation of caste in the context of changing land and labour relations, neo-liberal capitalism, the appropriation of natural resources, increasing state violence and the dominance of Hindutva. The decision to organise a national seminar around these issues was taken at the WSS annual meeting in Lucknow in 2015.

The main objective of organising this National Seminar on Caste and Patriarchy was to strengthen our dialogues and alliances around Babasaheb Ambedkar’s foundational insight – that the annihilation of caste cannot be fulfilled without the annihilation of patriarchy. The objective was also to explore the question of how our struggles against patriarchy, caste and religious orthodoxy could draw from Ambedkar’s legacy to redefine feminism in the Indian context. Our effort was to create a space to explore and discuss questions around re-framing our perspectives on the intersections of caste and patriarchy with structural inequalities so as to take on the challenge of annihilation of caste.

Video

Soni Sori addresses students at JNU, Delhi

Soni Sori, the adivasi leader from Chhattisgarh addresses students from JNU connecting their struggle with the struggle of the adivasis in Chhattisgarh. Elaborating of the challenges that the adivasis face, Soni emphasis the need for freedom of her people to be in their forests, lands, fields and homes. Under the garb of fighting naxalism the state has been systematically killing adivasis who have populated the land for generations so it can have their jal, jungle zameen. Anyone who raises a question about the unconstitutional way in which the forces and police are carrying out their operations is targeted. She also explains the fake encounter of Mardam which was the reason for her being attacked

 

Resisting Caste & Patriarchy: Building Alliances – WSS National Seminar

NEW DELHI
10-11 DECEMBER 2015

Savitri Bai Phule, Jyotiba Phule, B R Ambedkar and ER Periyar were among the first to show how upper caste maintains its dominance through the structures of marriage and family to uphold Brahmanical hegemony and keep women in a subordinate position. The struggle against patriarchy and religious orthodoxy is yet to draw substantially from this legacy to redefine feminism in the Indian context.

Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) would like to discuss what people’s movements and democratic movements, especially the women’s movement, have to say in relation to the “annihilation of caste” in the context of both work and vision in contemporary times. WSS invites you to this two-day seminar that will be addressed by activists, writers and academics.

Kindly keep yourselves free to attend this seminar as your participation is invaluable to us all in WSS, Delhi. We will send more details very soon.
In solidarity,
Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression

On the Suicide of Dr Khurshid Anwar, Director ISD

“To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.”

Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) would like to place on record its views on the recent suicide of Dr. Khurshid Anwar, Director Institute for Social Democracy, a Delhi-based NGO. Dr Anwar had been accused of rape by a 25-year old woman in September 2013. He committed suicide on 18 December 2013, following a campaign against him on social media and TV channels and the lodging of an FIR just a day before his death.

We are dismayed and deeply concerned at the content and tone of the discussions on Dr Anwar’s death in social media and in various public forums, where aspersions have been cast on the complainant. Questions have also been raised about the role of feminists who have stood by the complainant and upheld the feminist principles evolved in the course of the long and ongoing struggle against sexual violence in our patriarchal and misogynistic society.

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WSS Condemns the Violence & Vigilantism by AAP Against Ugandan Women

Addressing the Chief Minister of Delhi, Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), strongly condemned the racial profiling, sexual violence and vigilantism by AAP against the Ugandan women and have demanded Somnath Bharti’s resignation; judicial probe to identify the perpetrators of the violence & punitive, lawful action against them; and compensation for the Ugandian women among other demands.

To,
Shri Arvind Kejriwal
Chief Minister, Govt. of Delhi

Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression strongly condemns the illegal raid conducted by the AAP cabinet law minister, Somnath Bharti and his mob of supporters, on the premises of the Ugandan women on 17th January 2014 residing in Khidki village, New Delhi.
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