CITU objects to exploitation of workers

Shimla: The State Secretary of Himachal chapter of Centre of Indian Trade Union Kashmir Thakur has strongly objected to the credentials of a Tibetan national who has acquired a considerable wealth in the hill State in just past few years and is now exploiting Indian workers in his various projects by flouting labour laws.

Addressing a press conference here yesterday Mr Thakur also condemned the role and attitude of Labour Department for not implementing the labour laws and conniving with the contractors and big business houses against the formation of workmen unions in the State.

He said dozens of workers are being terminated everyday from various hydel projects, hotels and number of other private institutions. Construction of hydro projects and running of private hotels and other tourism related activities, is the prime industry in Himachal.

The CITU has also strongly disapproved the brutal Lathi charge (Baton charge) on the peacefully protesting workers outside a down town private hospital owned by a Tibetan contractor Mr Tenzin last week. The workers were demanding reinstatement of their co-workers in this premier hospital.

The CITU State Committee has demanded an immediate intervention by the Labour Department for the re-employment of workers otherwise the workmen affiliated with the union would go for a state-wide strike.

It has also insisted that huge properties of this foreign national in Himachal should be probed since he owns multi-storey buildings, industrial plots and hospitals and has a contractor licence which is never given to a foreigner here.

Under section 118 of the Himachal Pradesh Land and Tenancy Act, no one outside the hill State can buy properties without the cabinet approval, said the CITU. The union is also planning to approach the High Court against the illegal activities of foreigners in Himachal who are purchasing land and properties here.

Some Tibetans carrying crores of rupees including Indian and foreign currencies were caught last year also for allegedly buying lands in the Himachal countryside. They are already having huge monasteries and colonies in Dharamsala, Shimla and many other districts of the hill State.

KY Singh is a political observer and a senior journalist with an interest in a diverse set of issues related to Himachal Pradesh and other mountain states. He lives in Shimla.

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